EP: Berries – ‘Live From Big Smith Studios’

Fuelled by the riff-driven melodies of Nirvana, the massive choruses of Biffy Clyro, and the punk rock attitude of Riot Grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill, London based trio Berries have spent the last five years releasing an incendiary blend of grunge and garage rock, culminating in two explosive extended plays; 2016’s Those Funny Things and 2019’s Lies.

The three-piece – consisting of Holly Carter on guitar/lead vocals, Lauren Cooper on bass/backing vocals, and Lucie Hartmann on drums/backing vocals – recently signed with London-based label Xtra Mile Recordings, dropped the single track ‘Copy’, and have now released their latest EP, Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios; a collection of four tracks recorded live in Antony Smith’s studio.

Opening Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios, Berries immediately launch into a live rendition of their latest single ‘Copy’, a high-energy performance that gives the riff-laden track even more of an edge. Lauren’s raucous bass-lines, Lucie’s pounding drums, Holly’s distinctive lead vocal delivery and scuzzy guitar hooks are so flawless that you would be forgiven for mistaking this for the original track; if not for the various nuances between the two (“Don’t copy it exactly / Rough around the edge”).

The remaining three performances – ‘Dangerous’, ‘Silent’ and ‘Lies’ – are live versions of their respective tracks taken from the EP, Lies. Recorded for John Kennedy’s Radio X show, along with ‘Copy’ and ‘Lies’, ‘Dangerous’ is the highlight of Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios; an infectious collision of drum strikes, pulsating bass guitar, and distorted riffs combining indie, grunge and punk to cause a euphoric shock to the senses. Holly creates a sense of danger with her haunting lyrics, inspired after travelling home late one night after a gig: All of the thoughts and feelings of walking the streets alone at night and the different personalities you meet on the way.

Recorded for the virtual single launch of ‘Copy’, the band let loose on ‘Silent’, channelling the spirit of punk rock, and evoking Black Sabbath at the same time, with a fast-paced rhythmic foundation that elevates the track’s off-kilter hook, leading into a metallic breakdown that will have you banging your head! ‘Lies’ concludes the EP with a seemingly effortless performance oozing razor-sharp guitar licks, duelling drum and bass grooves, sassy vocals, and intense shredding.

Raw, complex, and full of little flourishes, Live Sessions from Big Smith Studios showcases the band’s signature style and strength as a live power trio. And it won’t be long until Berries are able to replicate this noise in front of a live audience! Worthy of repeat listening, this four-track extended play will scratch that rock and roll itch until we can all get together, drink warm beer, dance, and sing along with Holly, Lauren, and Lucie.

Watch the live video for ‘Dangerous’ here:

Live Sessions From Big Smith Studios is out now, listen on Spotify and download/buy here.

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne

Photo Credit: Cae Sato