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We review the new EP ‘Crown’ by 6:17 and Alfonso Conspiracy

Production and song management is a standout feature on this EP, a collaboration between 6:17 and Alfonso Conspiracy. These two solo multi-instrumentalists have come together for this release and draw their influence from Nine Inch Nails, Aphex Twin and Radiohead.

‘Crown’ opens with ‘King of Nothing’, a track that begins with a percussive loop of industrial sounds, gradually building through complex layers, introducing new sounds and building up a gritty soundscape. Low growling vocals emerge, perfectly suited to the landscape created through the ever growing loop.

When the Electric guitars kick in they are coupled with vocals that sound like they are both screamed and whispered which creates a really interesting and unnerving effect. ‘King of Nothing’ grows effortlessly into a fully fledged beast, with huge distorted guitars and screaming vocals.

A spinning guitar solo takes us on a tour of the fretboard before we fall down into the breakdown section. This epic journey is brought to a close by the introduction of a quiet acoustic outro, like the moment of calm after the storm has passed.

You’d be mistaken if you thought the outro of ‘King of Nothing’ was a sign of things to come. Second track ‘Queen of Everything’ compliments the opening track with a frenzied guitar riff. Poised as an opposite track to ‘King of Nothing’, ‘Queen of Everything’ is light where ‘King of Nothing’ is dark, and has real energy shifts between verses and choruses. The spoken verses signal poetic thought which contrasts with the melodic chorus lines.

Opening with rapturous applause, ‘Spider Webs’ takes us into a more electronic soundscape. This is like listening to the dark side of Gary Numan. A dramatic departure from the first two songs, ‘Spider Webs’ is loosely linked through distorted vocals and the semantic field of the lyrics.

The guitars on ‘Flowing Through Streams of Shit’ take us back to the heavy rock world. Monotonous vocals and a constant chugging guitar riff emulate the title of the track well. 6:17 and Alfonso Conspiracy achieve a great balance throughout this EP in terms of the production value. Each song feels thoroughly thought through and delicately managed.

‘Something Inside’, the EP’s closer starts with a piano line that comes as a welcome reprieve from the sheer volume of ‘Flowing Through Streams of Shit’. Underpinned by a mega sub-bass, and dramatically whispered vocals. Dissonant piano lines unnerve as the track builds through its layers. This song goes through multiple shifts, it is impossible to pin down one sound which is a real highlight about this release.

Opening up into a bright passage with big backing vocals and playful percussion loops.