Tommyrot. – Turkey Vulture of Drug Culture EP

I particularly favour tracks that make the listener have to just put a bit of effort in too. After all, the most treasured possessions and experiences are usually those that are the harder to procure or achieve. As we all know, some recordings are intricate beasts to explore; they can have layers of sound, layers of meaning within. There’s nothing I like better than to unwrap a new song and try and get under its skin.

York based Tommyrot. have given us a lot to puzzle over with their new EP Turkey Vulture of Drug Culture. Within are 4 spacey, psychedelic, trippy tunes to devour and explore.

C’mon people it’s beyond time that more of you got into Tommyrot. As a whole body of work, the EP hangs together perfectly as a coherent piece; each track runs in to each other. At the same time, each individual track also has its own vibe. Turkey Vultures are wise old birds, take a tip from them and fly with Tommyrot.

Circles is the opening track of the EP cycle, and has a narrative about imagining being a bird. I guess most of us might think about the sensation of free graceful flight, but here tommyrot. dream about being able to shit on people, and living with shit all around. The bird subject matter could have been even more out there I guess, perhaps a song about regurgitating food or something. A little free tip for the next EP, lads. The track with the weird and thought provoking lyric has a very underground Syd Barrett/ Caravan hippy trippy feel, with a deliberate repeated rolling beat and a nice heavy guitar riff going on.

Waiting On Tobyn has that lovely scuzzy, languid bluesy beat that I’ve heard within Tommyrot. before. Tommyrot. provide loungy 2am music at its best, complete with some pretty mad lyrical imagery. It’s perfect for that after party, before bed time where you want to chill and talk nonsense. We are of course flying again with this track, including with clouds and fire flys.

I love the sense of Edward Lear/ Syd Barrett lyricism and poetry here; simplicity, quirks, a clever scan and imagery. It’s lovely to hear much of that being brought forward and reimagined 50 years on. I also applaud the way the beat and rhythm sound like they are about to lose control but it continues to just about stay on the straight and narrow; it’s a bit like a spinning top about to topple off. Or someone about to trip off their face ((cough, or so I’ve been told)). I think Waiting On Tobyn is my personal favourite of the quartet.

A Very Real Field is a more uptempo track with a rolling beat. Bands like Bull and the Bug Club are rather lighter in texture, but I can’t help but think that fans of those two bands would find a lot to love within Tommyrot. and this track is the more immediately catchy track in the EP.

I spent a fair bit of my teenage years off my face in a field either at sundown or at dawn (benefits of a country upbringing), so I’ve had a lot of time to appreciate the incredible intricate detail of those surroundings. A very Real Field was of course the track from the EP released first, and I can understand why as it the most open of the tunes.

Turkey Vulture closes the EP, and it’s another change of direction with a very swingy, jazzy introduction. The song is another delicious slice of organised chaos, this time it makes me feel that fans of the likes of Nick Cave or Matt Maltese would groove to Turkey Vulture; with that slightly dark and brooding feel. Here, it’s done a little tongue in cheek, with a jaunt and a wink in its smooth tough swagger. If Hollyoaks ever merged with Peaky Blinder, Turkey Vulture would be on that soundtrack. Delicious is the word.

So Tommyrot. have produced a clever and very likable EP with Turkey Vulture. I remember when I stayed in the hills of Cuba for a while, the Turkey Vultures would fly overhead looking hopefully at my pallid corpulant form flailing in the swimming pool. It’s a good bird for Tommyrot. – massive and makes a big impact. I hope these guys get around to an album as on this EP showing it clearly would hang together really well.

If only Tommyrot. had organised an EP launch gig; it would be wild! Oh wait! What’s that? Get y’sen down to York’s Fulford Arms this Saturday (26th Feb 22) £4 four bands, four shiny new EP tracks.

Chris R


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