Well, hello everyone. If anyone is reading this that is. If you are, thank you and welcome to my thoughts on the new release from Belfast’s own Screaming Eagles.
Was asked to do this review of their new album, Stand Up And Be Counted, by band member Adrian as I had reviewed their first on an old blog I had a while back. That was probably the last thing I reviewed so it is fitting that this album from them should be the first thing I review for the new one.
I call it a review, but it’s not, not really. As you can no doubt tell, I am not a professional critic/reviewer nor a trained writer. I am lower than amateur at all of this but I am a fan of classic hard rock and metal and, I hope, able to form an opinion so that’s a good enough start I like to think.
Anyway, on to the meat of the missive, the album. Their first album was an astonishing debut, not a single bad track on it and this new album is just the same and in many ways, surpasses the first. Their musicianship, vocals and songwriting was always of an amazing standard but with this album, they have managed to take it up a gear and all the professional rock critics/reviewers out there feel the same. Their press has been nothing but praise, far as I can tell. Quite rightly too for they live up to their hype.
For me, if Slash, AC/DC and Whitesnake had a lovechild, it would be the Screaming Eagles. This is a modern day slice of good old-school classic hard rock and fans of the aforementioned bands, I think, will enjoy this very much.
From the opening, head bobbingly catchy riff of Ready For The Fall to the last notes of the fast paced Screaming Eagles, this album is packed throughout with stunning vocals, melody, riffs, driving beats and rhythms that will make anyone want to move. In fact, had this been another lifetime, Ready For The Fall could now have been seen as an 80s classic. As it stands, it’s a 21st Century classic which gives the listener a feeling of nostalgia and I like that a lot.
Next sirens begin to wail as Save Me starts to play. Fabulous riff, here, and a wonderful pulsating drum beat that drives the song beautifully. ‘It makes your skin come alive’, sings Mr Fry, and indeed he is correct and when this ends and Stand Up And Be Counted begins, if you are not a full-on Screaming Eagles fan already, you will be by the end of that track.
Then we come to Bow Down To The Blues. This gorgeous blues infused track has a hint of boogie in its melody and wonderfully picturesque lyrics. The images in my mind as I was listening to this were like something from a TV drama. This, for me, is the stand out track on the album and definitely a new favourite.
Chase You Down is a cool mid-tempo number with an almost machine-gun like sound to the guitars. I can even hear a hint of jazz guitar in here, but don’t be put off by that, rockers, this track is just as rocking as all the others. With its stop-start melody, its this quirkiness that makes it stand out from the rest.
Get Out While I’m Ahead would make a fabulous driving anthem. Just don’t put your foot down too hard, if you do listen to this while driving, because I don’t think the excuse of ‘I was enjoying the music too much to notice how fast I was going’ will go down very well with the police but you could always listen to the next track, Breakin’ All The Rules, to calm yourself down again. This song has a seriously sexy melody to it that will make you want to go slow and steady. This number made me feel so relaxed that I rewound it and listened to it again. Bliss. Really sexy sounding bliss.
But the chilled out feeling doesn’t last long as Streets Of Gold hits you with a hard pounding beat and a melody that sounds as though it comes from the gutter. This sounds sleazy. This sounds fabulous, as does the final number, Screaming Eagles. If ever another band out there wanted some inspiration to help them write their own anthem or theme tune, they could not do themselves a bigger favour than to listen to this track. It does, to me, seem like the fastest-paced track of them all and, overall, the album shows that they are inspired by different styles.
Inspiration may come from lots of places but they manage to bring all their influences and inspiration together in such a way that the finished package is like nothing else out there. They are the perfect mix of old-school and modern cool and, for me, there is not another band out there like them.
In short, a superb follow up to From The Flames. With two great albums in their arsenal now, their live shows will be even more of a sensation. I just hope that one day they are able to come and play a show in Denmark because I, for one, wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Be good to yourself, believe the hype about these guys and buy this album. You won’t regret it. Click below to see the guys in action in their new video for Save Me.
Stand Up And Be Counted is available as a digital download from the 13th July and as a CD from the 31st July 2015.
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