Scarlet Rebels emerged from their previous name V0id purely because it was causing confusion for those trying to find them when surfing the net or in record stores. With the O actually being a zero they were simply being missed. And that was a great shame as the band have constantly produced some very good classic rock.
So, their debut under their new moniker, Show Your Colours was released. An album full of great riffs, intelligent lyrics with areas of light and shade. With the NWOCR movement gaining more and more followers this is a band who deserve to be at the forefront.
The album starts with ‘No One Else to Blame’, which hits you between the eyes with some screaming guitar and then settles into a cool groove backed by a perfectly produced rhythm section. A very classy song, where less is more and assaults the listener’s ears leaving them wanting to play more tracks. A great solo in the last quarter of the song is just enough. It’s flashy without being there purely as an ego boost for the lead guitarist.
Straight into another rocker ‘You Take My Breath Away’ with a similar setup, big riffs before hitting a catchy chorus which is bound to be a big crowd-pleaser.
So is the album going to go down a two rocker one ballad format….er no. ‘Heads in the Ground’ is another out and out rocker with a big chorus designed I feel for a live audience participation. Cleverly constructed from start to finish this is clearly a band who are thinking about the bigger picture, and who will be looking to engage new fans by their infectious playing.
‘Part of Me’ is next up with a near country start, guitar and vocals only before the drums and second guitar come crashing. The pace is slower but is still powerful, but with melody throughout. I’m sure I heard a few bars of slide guitar and then some single riffs used to accentuate areas – this is coming from a failed musician who couldn’t even play a three-chord Quo song – another triumph.
We do hit ballad territory with ‘Heal’. To me the key to a great ballad is how it’s constructed, and this is perfect. From a simple start, the song gets layered with bass lines and then a massive riff kicks in and out. The words deal with support for someone in crisis and are pitched at the right level. It’s pretty short but is for me a highlight, “Please let me heal” are the last words sung without backing and they fade into the distance making you think about the lyrical content.
Having listened to the album time and again, I can honestly say that it’s damn near impossible to be critical in any area. And that is a rarity in itself, there is nothing on here recorded without good reason. Every drum fill, bassline, vocal or guitar part is there for the benefit of the listener. It’s an album that doesn’t break new ground, but it captures a band definitely ready to ascend to new heights.
Having seen the band smash it at HRH Ibiza two years ago I feel that it’s a great shame that the live music scene is so poorly supported as if this were the glory days of the ’80s the Hammy Odeon’s would be selling out with bands like this.
Highlights……too many to mention. Favourite track? Changes with every play. And that is a sign of a great future classic.
Lowlights…….none. Buy the album, play loud, and enjoy Scarlet Rebels – you will not be disappointed.