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New Album Released on January 28th

Scarlet Rebels is a 5 piece classic hard rock band from Llanelli, South Wales. They consist of Wayne Doyle (vocals/guitar), Chris Jones (lead guitar), Josh Townshend (guitar), Wayne ‘Pricey’ Esmonde (bass) and Gary Doyle (drums). Formed in late 2017, from the remains of classic rock band VOiD, Through The Blue is the follow up to their 2019 debut album Show Your Colours.  One of the few plus points about the ‘Pandemic’ is the enforced downtime that has seemed to spark the creative juices of many artists. Frontman Wayne Doyle stuck watching TV found himself angered and inspired by the events unfolding and the seemingly inability of our political masters to do anything meaningful about them. So, he wrote an album fired by the spirit of defiance and hope and the need to spread a positive message in the darkest of times. The bands style has been described as New Wave Of Classic Rock so let’s start to listen and get to the nitty gritty of what that means in this case.

The album kicks off with ‘I’m Alive’, a fast-paced Bluesy Rocker that reminds me of early The Answer, similar hooks and fine guitar driven energy. The edge well still Celtic but this time Welsh in origin as opposed to Northern Irish. A good start and you know once again like The Answer this song will take on even more of a life played live and is the band’s defiant statement to the Pandemic. Next up is the album’s first single ‘Storm’. If I was to liken this track to any other band it would have to be another favourite of mine The Temperance Movement. To me it’s a song that asks the question whether or not the country is ready for the aftershock of Covid and Brexit and all the seismic changes that will ensue. Like all the tracks on the album it has a Rock Steady heartbeat of the rhythm section powering it along that takes me back to the Blues fuelled Rock of the 70’s.

Next up is ‘London Story’. This song has an even earlier 60’s vibe going. Echoing bands like The Faces and The Kinks. Again, the guitar solos like the rest of the album have a fresh vibrancy taking me back more years than I care to remember, yep hands up I’m an old git who was around the first time around. Next comes ‘These Days’ and it’s one of my highlights of the album. Maybe because it reminds me of the Soul Asylum song ‘Runaway Train’ in parts, Rocked up and Refuelled but with the same vibe it’s asking all the right questions and echoes in the lyric that feeling of ‘Holding On’ which in the times we live in is good advice. ‘Take You Home’ picks up the tempo again. Released as a single and is a tribute to performing live. I do have to say that the twin guitar interplay will be a crowd pleaser when the band hit the stage with it.

This is followed by the more introspective ‘I Can Sleep Now’. Slowing the pace again there is something in the plaintive opening vocal that draws me back again and again to it. Yes, it’s a song about love and loss but it has the authentic sound of a lyric that comes from an experience deep within the song writer and has that certain truth. It tells in a beautifully musical way a tale we all have lived through also you get the feeling that the band has produced a defining and addictive song in it. Needless to say, it’s one of my album highlights.

Picking up the pace track 8 is ‘Take It’ and it’s a straight-ahead Rocker you immediately want to turn up the volume on. Opening with thunderous guitar riffs and a drum line so sharp it cuts like a knife. This is swiftly followed by the plaintive ‘Leave A Light On’ once again slowing the pace. I’ve heard this song described as a ‘Slow Burner’ and that is literally what it is. Crafted in a beautiful musical simplicity bit of it remind me of The Choirboys but not in a plagiaristic way. ‘We’re Going Nowhere’ stirs memories of another favourite band of mine the amazing Thunder. Right from the opening drum role and while nobody delivers a Blues/Rock vocal better than Danny Bowes, Wayne Doyle really excels in his own way. Mix it in with an anthemic chorus and a beat the Electric Boys would be proud of you end up with another crowd pleaser. Unusually the title track ‘See Through The Blue’ closes the album. Once again slowing the pace opening with acoustic guitar and a dark and melancholic vocal. It’s basically a parable for the pandemic and the way the Tory government has ridden roughshod over the crisis of national health or private wealth. After the first two verses the song roars into life halfway through when the acoustic guitars are swapped for a boisterous pair of riffs and some extraordinary guitar work that at the same time clash and chimes to great effect. It is a song that tells you this band has an entire arsenal of weapons in its armoury and is no one trick pony.

To close its no great shock to me that this band is making waves on various national radio stations and in the written media in fact I’d be amazed if they weren’t. The whole album is set apart with a vibrant energy of a young band that’s making music with a passion all of their own. Another Welsh musical treasure? I’d have to say Yes really.

OUT 28th JANUARY 2022

Scarlet Rebels – I’m Alive

Upcoming shows in February:

01/02 – B2 Brickmakers, Norwich
02/02 – The Black Heart, London
03/02 – Bannerman’s, Edinburgh
04/02 – Waterloo Bar, Blackpool
11/02 – The Victoria, Swindon
12/02 – The Bread Shed, Manchester





Rating: 8.5/10
Record Label: Earache Records.
Website: http://www.scarletrebels.com/
Release date: 28th January 2022
Highlight tracks: ‘The Storm’, ‘These Days’, ’I Can Sleep Now’

Review by Rob Birtley

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