Loud, confident, charismatic, and mixed to perfection are probably how I’d describe Paytron Saint’s latest EP release. Titled Under Scary Houses, the British band’s self-produced EP sees them exercising their utmost creative freedom for results that pack a ready punch of scruffy rock.

Based in Belper, Paytron Saint is an uncompromising three-piece outfit composed of frontman and guitarist Nick Glyn-Davies, Dean Lloyd on the bass, and Dan Brigstock on the drums. Their sound on their latest studio release is a mature blend of alternative rock, a homegrown production direction, and the band’s unique songwriting abilities, shining from the EP’s very first few bars, all the way to the last few.

Grunge-driven and with ample angst, the EP starts with the centerpiece ‘Blessed Be the Weight’, introducing Glyn-Davies’s singsong vocals and their calculatedly dry placement within the mix, his saturated guitar tones, ranging from grungy power chord chugs to scratchy arpeggios, Lloyd’s driving bass, and Brigstock’s rock solid grooves, all of which are thankfully staples throughout the album. Utilizing the underappreciated octave guitar effect (heard most famously on Radiohead’s My Iron Lung) and clashing open strings, Glyn-Davies creates a memorable riff that morphs and morphs back from the chorus’s simplistic power chords. The five-minute cut is an outstanding introduction to the band’s artistic direction and ambition. ‘Tommelise’ is another standout cut with an unforgettable groove and a writhing bass performance, making it the album’s most rhythmically nuanced cut, packed full of power and panache from Glyn-Davies’s more classic rock-inspired vocal part. The breakneck pace of the penultimate track ‘Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely’ and its rhythmic trick in the main riff were enough to had me hooked throughout the song’s grungy guitar tones and uber-melodic solo. A sure winner and another one of the album’s centerpieces. The haunting darkness in the closer ‘Beautiful Repair’ makes it a worthy outro with intricate parts from all the band’s members. Beautifully produced and with a certain crepuscular charm to its melodies and harmonies, the song’s outro section features captivating vocal harmonies that end the EP on a standout moment, in one last showcase of the band’s musicianship.

 Under Scary Houses is a mature EP of a band that is perfectly comfortable with one another. The parts of each individual member beautifully melt into the others, often creating fulfilling musical landscapes that feel like self-contained musical journeys. From the relatively slow to the hectic, and from the rocking to the gently stirring, Paytron Saint are saying and showing that they have countless tricks up their sleeves.