The Tricorn - Portsmouth's brutalist answer to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon - was a darkened, dingy, oversized car park full of doggers and pigeon shit. It was slowly demolished among much of a hullabaloo stirred up by those for, or against, the deconstruction of such a famous suicide landmark. The name was almost confined to specialist history books, left to stoke up misplaced nostalgia that failed to recall just how painful a sight stacked-up grey concrete slabs are. However, fear not all ye lovers of decaying, piss-ridden buildings battered by the salt-winds of the sea coast, for the name is to be forever immortalised by a group of Pompey based power-rockers.
Tricorn do share some features with the building from which they take their name: They are big, powerful and full of sleaze. However, they also possess that sort of sonic, rhythmic destruction that "could level a building block", so maybe they've pulled their name from the destruction, as much of the memory, of the southern standard bearer of brutalism.
Tricorn's slow riffage is indeed brutal in itself. Their debut album powers relentlessly but steadily along, assured in its goal of creating a mean, low-tuned, stripped bare, rock 'n' roll. Citing influences such as Black Sabbath and Motorhead, it is surely the power rather than the pace they are drawing from here while they sit in commendably alongside other influences such as Alice in Chains and QOTSA.
'Step Outside' sets the standard of slow, brooding, stoner-style riffs layered over thunderous drumming. The vocals are low and raspy, adding to the meanness of the overall sound. The trudging muscle dominates the record further through tracks such as 'Therapist' and the real stand out piece, 'Where Did it Go?', which almost slows down to a deathly, instrumental stand-still. The pace picks up at times on songs such as the Sabbath-esque 'Give Me Some More' and the crushing 'Crawl', but they never divert from the carefully crafted vibe of the album. The closer, 'Momentum', is an epic eight-minute monster of a song that rounds off the record leaving you feeling truly battered and bruised.
This record is dark, heavy and in your face. And with such a barrage of a sound designed to envelope any willing listeners it is really about getting in to the zone and loving it. The Tricorn may have finally crumbled in to dust, but these guys are giving you the chance once more to "step outside" and in to the shadow of a brutalist powerhouse.