By Stephen Pennell ©
In rap and grime, the word ‘pagan’ means ‘enemy’, but everything about this track by The Pagans SOH makes me want to be their friend. Recorded, mixed and produced at Magic Garden Studios by Gavin Monaghan, Emergence of Forgotten Power is the latest offering from the West Bromwich four-piece comprising Marcus Lesycsyznski-Hall (vocals), Daragh Guest (guitar), Conor Hodgkiss (drums) and Nathaniel Hellier-Allport (bass).
I was weighing up my nominations for next year’s Birmingham Music Awards when this fresh and vibrant slice of psychedelic rock and road landed in my inbox and smashed my list to smithereens. It opens with a gloriously soulful and gentle guitar and bass intro that gives no warning of the carnage about to be unleashed, but the drums soon put paid to that. Marcus pours his personality into a big bowl of countless influences and the band rejoice in the knowledge that they can’t be pigeon-holed - a bit of a bugger when you’re trying to describe them
It’s intelligent, witty and profound and shot all the way through with a huge sense of playfulness - great art that you can immediately tell they had great fun making. It has the spirit and energy of punk, the rhythm and soul of funk, and just enough psychedelia to put your mind into an altered state. Their unique sound has drawn previous press comparisons with Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Prince, but the lyrics do a better job of explaining it all than I ever could:
“It’s the emergence of reverence for everything pagan,
Our lyrics and our sound has made everything forsaken,
It’ll be better when you get an understanding,
That when you hear me your mind will be taken”
The artwork, designed and created by Pablo Fiasco, will have you checking your tea for hallucinogenics, but if that gives you sensory overload, wait til you hear the music!