Reviews roundup – Lost To Wolves ~ When Rivers Meet ~ Baron Crane ~ Radio Hate ~ Allora
LOST TO WOLVES
Lost To Wolves
Well this is rather good. Especially as it was recorded as a demo by a brand new band.
Granted, they’ve got form in other German metal bands but after a wedding jam(!) the various members decided that there was something there that needed pursuing.
And that thing is groovy, stoner metal with a few seventies rock licks thrown in for good measure. They really do know how to come up with a catchy riff that gets your hips shaking and your head moving. And that’s not a particularly easy thing to pull off. It helps that in singer Jake Soe they’ve got someone who can howl in finest “Ultramega OK” fashion.
Across the five songs on offer here, my favourite riff is ‘Rolling The Dice’ which caused some serious near neck dislocation issues but the best song is probably ‘Cage In Your Head’ which brings all their elements together seamlessly. Great riff, powerhouse rhythm and howling vocals. This is a band that metal fans should be checking in on while they’re still on the ground floor because given the right breaks they should be too famous for the likes of you and me very soon.
WHEN RIVERS MEET
We Fly Free
One Road Records
There’s been a wee bit of hype building for When Rivers Meet over the last year or so. As well as putting out couple of EPs they’ve even managed to get some BBC Radio 2 airplay. Which isn’t easy.
Especially when wife and husband Grace and Aaron Bond are pursuing a raw and gritty blues based rock sound. Although I suppose as they’re not a million miles away in sound from The White Stripes there is some precedent. Maybe they’re the one act of their ilk that’s allowed this time around.
It’s certainly a good sound with the forceful vocals of Grace (who also plays mandolin and violin) the big selling point while Aaron plays guitar / slide guitar and does some singing as well. A special mention has to go to producer Adam Bowers who also plays the drums which really do power a lot of the songs along.
The opening ‘Did I Break The Law’ is one of the highlights which builds up into a truly righteous noise. There is some great slide guitar work on ‘Walking On The Wire’ which is probably the most traditional blues on offer. I was also taken with ‘Kissing The Sky’ which has a really dirty, dirty rhythm. Of the less frantic tunes, ‘Bury My Body’ really hits home.
They bring in elements of folk, soul and classic rock to their sound while staying rooted in a fairly standard foot on the floor pounding 4/4 sound. But it’s a mighty fine one and, for once, you really should believe the hype. A real good one.
Commotions Part 1
Hmm. Math metal. Not really my thing. A lot of it seems to be unreconstructed noise and if I want that I’ll just go and stand on a building site.
Fortunately for me, French trio Baron Crane do add a few more elements to the mix which means that this is actually listenable. The main thing that grabbed my attention was the glissando like guitar that kept on popping up. Imagine if Gong had mutated in a different direction and it might have ended up like this. I also really liked a lot of the bass rhythms which seem to run at odds with everything else that is going on but which somehow work. Well done.
They’ve been together since 2014 with a couple of previous EPs to their name but only guitarist Léo Pinon has survived the journey and there is a new rhythm section in place for this one. They’ve also ventured into the world of vocals with Arthur Brossard appearing on album highlight ‘Acid Rains’ and rapper INCH on ‘On Rase Les Murs’. The former is probably the closest thing to a traditional song here with a heavy stoner riff powering things along. Elsewhere they throw in jazz, psychedelia, drone and more to the mix. And it all makes for an extremely powerful sound.
There are dark twists and turns everywhere you look and a feeling of oppression seems to permeate the music. Or maybe that’s just the Great Reset of 2020 crushing the soul. I didn’t go into this with high hopes but I come out the other side a convert. Good work fellas.
A Better Way
Rocket Vault Records
Radio Hate started life as a solo, studio project from singer Matt Planton who had previous with punks Abort! Abort!
But with live shows beckoning he rounded up an assortment of seasoned Wisconsin punks to bring the music to life, leading on to this release which features guitarists Cade Whitman and Anthony Florencio, bass player Mike Chapa and drummer Jarrod Schroeder.
And there is no doubting that they’re a punk rock band especially if you’re a fan of nineties US punk. But with a wee bit more attitude. There are also more than a few riffs that wouldn’t be unfamiliar to fans of second generation UK punk circa 1984. I’m guessing that Mr Planton isn’t unfamiliar with the world of Oi and street punk if the 100mph riffs and shouty choruses are anything to go by. That’s fine by me seeing as how I used to live near Wattie of the Exploited and spent far too much time in the Cas Rock.
If that sounds like the sort of thing that wets your whistle then you’re going to be very happy here. It will also come as no surprise to learn that lyrically Radio Hate are most definitely not in favour of politicians, war, religion and capitalism. If you still need convincing then they throw in a cover of ‘Such Fun’ by eighties Oi outfit The Blood. Which, fact fans, was produced by Mickey Geggus of the Cockney Rejects. Proper punk for proper punks.
Into The Abyss
I’m trying to think of something good about Milton Keynes. I vaguely recall an indoor ski centre. And I went to far too many shows at the Milton Keynes bowl back in the day. Which always seemed to feature Magnum about half three in the afternoon.
But here come Allora, a bunch of young fella me lads, barely old enough for bum fluff to make me reconsider my opinion. As befits a band of youngsters they’re a modern metal band with a few post grunge influences in the mix. You know the sort of thing – Alter Bridge with balls. Musically, they’re very adept and have some fine riffs at their disposal. ‘Preach Through The Pain’ is the best of them. That’s their first A+ song. It has a swirling riff and a fantastic vocal. In fact vocalist Matthew Salisbury is a bit of a secret weapon as he really does have a distinctive voice. Something you need if you want to be heard above the masses.
But Kyle Budding Jack Salisbury and Jack Ward (guitar, bass and drums respectively) are no slouches as they power through this seven track mini album / EP. It’s got a production that belies it’s indie / debut status and in the busy world of modern alt metal, there’s is a name to keep an eye on.