Release Date: Monday 2nd May 2016
Born in the summer of 2010 in North Lincolnshire, Skarlett Riot are a brazen four-piece Hard Rock band who deliver the melody and grit of acts like Halestorm and Courtney Love but also infuse their sound with the muscular garage Rock n' Roll guile of early Guns N' Roses. Spitting out fiery riffage and infectious hooks, these northern noiseniks boost a sound that is both truly captivating and anthemic, packed to the brim with attitude and a confidence that belies their age.
Having shared the stage with the likes of Taking Dawn, L.A Guns, Glamour Of The Kill, Crashdiet, Vains Of Jenna, Black Spiders, Forever Never and Deaf Havana, as well as appearances at Tramlines Festival, Winter Rock, Dames of Darkness and Camden Rocks Festivals, this band are not only captivating on stage but also deliver when it comes to their recorded output.
Their debut EP was released in late 2010 and received glowing accolades from the press including Metal Hammer and Classic Rock Magazine and Powerplay and this was followed up in 2013 with their 'Tear Me Down' album which is ten tracks of sheer brilliance. Their creativity continued with the 2015 'We Are The Brave' EP which continued the band ascent which was backed up by a comprehensive UK tour to promote it.
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Their new release 'Sentience' brings the Skarlett Riot story up-to-date with five brand new tracks that showcase how far the band have travelled in the last six years. Kicking things off is 'Voices' with a great guitar riff. courtesy of Danny Oglesby, at the top and the thing that immediately strikes you is the polished sound of the track and indeed, the whole EP. Everything is exactly where it should be and the solid sound produced belies the youth of this band. Once the guitar riff settles down with the relentless drums from Luke Oglesby the vocals come in, and there's really no looking back from this point on.
'Scream At Me' has the guitar of Danny Oglesby to the fore once again during the long intro as the drums come in with a complex rhythm which gives the song some extra texture whilst find the guitar riff is a frantic but no less technical performance. This is one track that's guaranteed to get the fists pumping at gigs and just as you get used to the tempo it slows down for the mid section as vocalist Chloe Drinkwater comes into her own, adding just a touch of menace to her voice in a superb performance.
Mid-way through is 'Empty Inside' which has Luke Oglesby taking the lead once again as bass player Martin Shepherd finally gets his moment in the spotlight thanks to some booming bass guitar sounds before the main rhythm guitar comes in. The tracks another fast one with Drinkwater giving a passionate performance making this track a firm favourite of mine. Again it has a slower mid-section which is full of atmosphere before the slow build back up the faster tempo that the track began with.
It's not all fast numbers, though, as demonstrated by 'Feel', which is more of a mid-paced number that again has Luke Oglesby showing his talent with another complex drum pattern before the soaring vocals from Drinkwater take centre stage. For me, this is far and away her best performance here, and she should be immensely proud of this absolutely stunning performance. From soaring vocals right down to more subtle singing style it showcases her talents perfectly and, importantly too, suits the style of the track too – another outstanding number.
Closing track 'The Wounded' is back to the fast tempo and has a long instrumental intro as Luke Oglesby lays down an impressive beat as the guitar of Danny Oglesby makes a late appearance. That's the thing about this EP, it has lots to offer and it manages to successfully showcase each member of the band perfectly whilst still producing a collection of cohesive and thoroughly enjoyable tracks.
You can see the official video for 'Voices' here:
Scream At Me
Skarlett Riot are:
Chloe Drinkwater – Vocals
Danny Oglesby – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Martin Shepherd – Bass/Backing Vocals
Luke Oglesby – Drums