Frontman and founding member Mick Burns has everything in place to unleash a strong debut album by his band Feral Sun.
Very much adopting a sound that may prove a little familiar for fans of Bush, Stone Sour and Staind plus many other bands with a similar outlook to their creativity, 'Evacuate' pedals a style that is both modern and emotive. Hard Rock with a sprinkle of something light and reflective in places, 'Evacuate' is one for you to check out and be ahead of the queue if you feel so inclined.
It contains 11 solid examples of their craft and also boasts a single in the form of 'Breathe' amongst them.
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Originally starting out from South Africa but known under a different name, they relocated to London and eventually settled on a new line-up of devoted likeminded musicians, beginning to set the foundations of what we can hear on their debut.
'Find A Way' blasts out of the cage it was buried in and instantly setting the tone for 'Evacuate'. Heavy and calculated guitars chords impress while the chorus soars overhead. Once the stuttering groove is cast aside, 'Alone' enters the fray providing a new dimension to their sound after initially setting the scene with more notable distorted riffs. The verse sits on a bed of fragile-sounding guitar which breaks up the flow with a comfortable change of pace.
Title tracks in their own way have a lot of expectation placed on them due to the fact an entire collection of songs is named after them. With this observation in place, the title track here isn't grandiose or mind-blowing, but tackles the level of quality showcased on the previous two tracks with ease. Complete with a frantic guitar solo which doesn't hang about, the subtle melody line glides with the onward momentum and after a triumphant finale we're confronted by a strummed guitar introduction to 'People Are Dying'.
Lyrically 'People Are Dying' abandons subtlety and reaches out for the jugular. The mix of light and dark collaborating once more and becomes a consistent trademark to the personality of 'Evacuate'. Maybe it's a compliment, but I hear in parts of 'Long Road' a similar vibe to Silverchair.
'Into Pieces' captures the ear with a chugging riff and a constant exhibition of pure unadulterated emotion from Burns. These tracks deliver with each punch on quality arrangements. Maybe one humble criticism to be aimed at this album is that it ends up being rich in smoothly produced mixes of light and shade. Reminiscent of a hot chocolate drink that is so loaded with chocolate that you enjoy it for most of the experience, but cannot quite drink it all because you've had enough.
I had the privilege of interviewing Burns regarding this album a few months ago and he shared his thoughts on the lyrics. "Last year I lost both of those parents within three months and wrote two or three of the songs that are on this album around that time, so all of the lyrics sort of came on around that time, especially 'Breathe'.
"The single that we're releasing now is so much around my experience of letting go of my Mum that it's the biggest song on the album in a sense, for me, as a person and as a musician."
This is the brutal honesty invested on the album, and if that's what you respect and wish to consume in your ears, then I would highly recommend this album. As another example of how strong 2014 has begun, this album really is a good and solid affair within this well-trodden road of Modern Hard Rock.
No need to fondle in the darkness for the fire exit; no need to evacuate because things are so dreadfully bad. Just put this on and remember that whatever you're going through, you're not alone.
Find A Way
People Are Dying
One More Day
Take This Away
Caught In The Act