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  ESTRELLA
'We Will Go On'
(SJS Entertainment Limited)
Out Now


Johnny Main

johnny main



estrella

North of Scotland rockers Estrella released their debut album, 'Come Out To Play', in mid-2012 and have worked tirelessly to build their fan base ever since. Helped along the way by successful tours of the UK and Europe, both headlining as well as supporting Enuff Z'Nuff, Gilby Clarke, Robin Beck, House of Lords, The Answer, Tigertailz and Scotland's own The Amorettes, the band have hardly had time to catch their breath, let alone record their follow up album.

Last year, however, the band unloaded their gear at the famous Rockfield Studios in deepest, darkest Wales, where Queen, Rush and Black Sabbath have recorded in the past, and along with producer Nick Brine (The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen, Oasis) they set to work on this, their eleven track follow up album.

So how does the new material fare, I hear you ask? Well, if you're looking for ballsy British Rock with just a dash of eighties flare, then this could be right up your street.

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'Here I Am' is a jolly rocker that sets out the pace early on, likewise with 'Wheels Keep Turning' which has front man Paul Gunn sounding not unlike Joe Elliott (of Def Leppard fame) whilst the keyboard track has something of a debt to The Who classic 'Baba O'Riley'.

Title track 'We Will Go On' is a glorious foot stomper thanks to the beat punched out by drummer Leo McPherson whilst guitarist, Luke Gunn, punctuates the lyrics with some seriously cool guitar noises before his guitar solo shows what he's really capable of – then again, if you've ever seen the band live, you know what a prodigious talent Luke actually is.

'Undercover Lover' is another solid rock number with Leo steadfastly laying down the beat whilst Luke, again, punctuates the lyrics with some great guitar work. The two choruses in the latter number are real "hands in the air" moment while Luke unleashes another incredible guitar solo.

The eighties feel comes from the mid-tempo keyboard based track 'This Heaven'. It's a bouncy track though with some great harmony vocals in the middle of song. 'Rock City' is another up tempo number with Leo's drums leading the way once again. The backing vocals give the chorus extra emphasis and Paul really stretches his voice especially during the slightly slower mid section before Luke steps up with a scene stealing solo. Catchy doesn't even begin to describe the song, but I pretty much guarantee that you'll be singing along to this after only a couple of listens.

estrella

'Hard To Get' has a slow and steady beat courtesy of Leo as the guitar riff blasts out during the intro before the sound is pared right back to reveal bass player Nathan Gunn's thumping bass line along with the drums before Paul delivers the first verse. The track has got another anthemic chorus which is just crying out for some audience participation during live gigs, so let's hope this gets an airing on the bands upcoming live dates.

'My Own Way' is the album's token acoustic guitar number shows the band can do subtlety as well as loud and brash rock. The acoustic guitar track is augmented by some very subtle electric guitar sounds but it's pretty much a case of simple guitar and voice making this a classy track with the almost minimalist vocals letting the music come to the fore. Indeed, the extended final instrumental section is a fitting end to the album as a whole.

For me, though, the highlight of this album without a doubt is 'Reason' which shows that the power ballad is back – and it's back big time! This has to be the band's "lighters in the air" moment (or should that be mobile phone being their modern day equivalent at gigs) and the song truly deserves to be a corner stone of their live show. It's got everything from the catchy chorus which is ideally suited to getting the crowd involved, to its slower tempo giving the band the chance to show what they can really do, but most of all, is got a fantastic vocal performance from Paul and an enthralling guitar performance from Luke. Paul's performance has clearly been influenced from Aerosmith's Steven Tyler here, whilst Luke's guitar solo is measured, thoughtful and sympathetic to the lyrics. An absolutely top notch song from beginning to end.

During 'Hold On', the lyrics do say "...we've got what it takes", and you know what? I really do think that Estrella do have what it takes to be one of the very best rock bands in Britain and if they continue to put out high quality material like this album, then I'm looking forward to seeing their stature rise over the coming years.

You can see Estrella live here:
Sunday 28th June - Wildfire Festival, Wiston Lodge
Friday 28th August – Glammed Out Festival, London

'We Will Go On' Tracklist:
Here I Am
Wheel Keep Turning
We Will Go On
This Heaven
Hard To Get
Reason
Hold On
Rock City
Be There
Undercover Lover
My Own Way

Estrella are:
Paul Gunn – Vocals
Luke Gunn – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Nathan T. Gunn – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Leo J. McPherson – Drums


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24.6.2015












 


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