Reviews roundup – Leaves’ Eyes vs. Piledriver vs. Eilera vs. Hana Piranha vs. Witch Tripper
Fires In The North (EP)
It’s always hard replacing an iconic vocalist, especially one whom the band is named after. And so it will prove to be for Leaves’ Eyes in the post Liv Kristine world. It certainly seemed to be a surprise move but they’ve done their first tour with new singer Elina Siirala and have now released their first record.
To her credit, Elina is a better technical singer than Liv Kristine but that’s only half the battle in winning your fans back. So it might have been better to get an album sorted rather than releasing this EP. See, there is only one new song here and even though “Fires In The North” is a decent enough symphonic metal song, it’s more an album track than a lead single.
It’s certainly a bad move bunging your new singers voice on songs from your last album. Because that’s what makes up the rest of the EP bar an acoustic rendering of the title track. Which actually works better than the full metal version. If the idea is to emphasise the arrival of their new singer then it doesn’t really work. However I’ve got a great deal of time for the music made by Leaves’ Eyes so will still be in line to hear what they’ve got when a new album arrives.
Brothers In Boogie
It probably won’t come as a great surprise to learn that a band called Piledriver ply their trade as a Status Quo tribute band.
That all started back in Germany back 1995 when Michael Sommerhoff (“Rick Parfitt”) and Peter Wagner (“Francis Rossi”) got together to recreate the magic of the Frantic Four years. Since then they’ve boogied across Europe as well as releasing two previous albums and an EP.
But whereas debut ‘Piledriver’ was full of Quo covers and only three originals this one only has two Quo songs amid a stack of originals. First off, it sounds really good as they’ve managed to get former Accept / UDO man Stefan Kaufmann to produce it. And as songs like “One Way To Rock”, “Rock In A Crossfire Hurricane” and “Frantic Groove” suggest they certainly know how to boogie.
They bung in a couple of covers from the ‘Quo’ album and rather amusingly end with single versions of two of the album tracks. Because radio is sitting there waiting for them. It’s a good album, even if I do prefer the songs that are closer in spirit to the Quo. At times they get a bit eighties metal such as on songs like “Together” but when they do get their boogie on then it’s a mighty fine noise.
Face Your Demons
To Finland now for some French goth folk rock. See, even though Eilera is French she is based in Finland, where to be fair, her folk meets Celtic meets rock is probably more of a natural bedfellow.
Thee album itself is a bit hit and miss as not all the songs are out of the top drawer. But when everything comes together then songs like “Angel Made Temptress” and “Frozen Pain” make for very enjoyable listens.
It’s her fourth album so I would have hoped that things would have been finished off by now but it still sounds like a work in progress in places. There are a lot of good things going on here especially when she gets her Finn on with the closing Finnvox versions of “Frozen Path” and “Into the Sea”. Elsewhere the more Celtic influenced tracks work best as the rockier tunes lack a bit of oomph (technical term). I liked this but yearned for a few more riffs.
Fishing With Dynamite
New Zealand born, London based vocalist / violinist Hana Piranha have a new albun out called ‘Fishing With Dynamite’. And it’s one to file under interesting.
Now there is nothing here that fans of mid period Banshees / early Garbage won’t have heard before and there’s definitely a lot of shouting going on. So it’s basically nineties goth lite indie with vocal venting. But there is a market for this and there is no reason why teenage girls won’t take her to their collective bosom.
Add in a few Nirvana influenced riffs on the likes of “Intoxicated”, some angst drenched lyrics and a second hand greatcoat and you’ve got the go to sound for students who think they’ve got a hard life.
Some Nottingham stoner now from the delightfully named Witch Tripper. Although I wouldn’t recommend tripping a witch. She’ll have you something rotten for that.
Of course they must just have chosen a Down song for their name instead which would make a smidgeon more sense even if they are looking back a lot further for their spiritual ancestors. Yes. it’s the Blue Cheer / Leaf Hound bludgeon that seems to be getting revisited here. Which is perfectly OK with me.
They’ve certainly got the riffs and the attitude down pat on tunes like of “Attitude Adjustment” and “Meat Off The Bone” as they bludgeon their way through eleven slabs of stoner. So well done to Richie Barlow (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Collins (drums) and Chris Stoff Daughton (bass). Granted, I personally prefer a cleaner vocal but it’s a minor thing on what is an excellent debut album.