Comprised of members of Bell Witch, King Dude, Serpentent, and Terminal Fuzz Terror, Sterling Serpent is already well acquainted with the world of gothic Americana and neo folk, while being all too familiar with the art of all things slow and punishingly heavy. With this in mind, their debut EP already has high expectations of it, and there’s a lot of pressure for the four piece to live up to the reputation of the bands they’ve formed from.

When listening to this EP it conjures up likenesses to the gothic blues of Nick Cave, the mystery of Wovenhand, the raw sexual magnetism of The Devil’s Blood and the alluring darkness that resonates in some of Earth’s most recent releases. While it may be all too easy to be drawn into the comfort of the familiarity that’s on display, at its core, ‘Sterling Serpent’ has no spark of originality nor does it inspire temptation to press play again once the EP has finished. What Sterling Serpent play is certainly done well, however, when there are dozens of other bands and artists that sound exactly the same, and they are offering nothing new into the mix, what’s the point? The overall result is left feeling flat and uninspired.

It’s not without its moments of drama, and Sterling Serpent are certainly experts at creating an atmosphere, however, it seems that as a band they’re relying quite heavily on the reputations of the bands they’ve previously been involved with in order to be taken notice of. If this were any other band, they would be long forgotten already. Let’s hope the quartet conjure up something unique for their full length, as the EP has far from lived up to the prestige it has promised.

(5/10 Angela Davey)