STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 50113-14753 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD EP ITEMS: 1
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Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Having long been an admirer of Jamie and the lads' stunning live performances I always felt that their 2003 album debut, though good in parts, was, for me, let down a little by rather ordinary production and one or two below par songs. Now, after a five-year wait, the Hampshire-based rockers have returned with one of the best CDs of this year. Credit in part should go to legendary producer Joe Gibb (Jane's Addiction, Funeral For A Friend) who has ensured that their incendiary live sound is captured in all its sonic glory. But also much respect has to go to the lads who deliver four songs each of which sounds like a radio hit. Their publicity sheet likens the band to such acts as Foo Fighters and Fall Out Boy but in truth there is a pristine freshness about their playing and songwriting which is all their own. The searing guitar work of Mark Cocks is nothing short of marvellous while each of their compositions seems like a master class in rock composition: "Chameleon" with its rock guitars and radio-friendly chorus (drawn from a band member's personal experience of God's healing a broken heart and bringing forgiveness after becoming a victim of infidelity); "Consuming Destroyer", an alternative rocker about resisting the Devil's attempts to undermine our confidence; and "Identity Crisis" with one of the most naggingly memorable guitar riffs of the year. But pride of place has to go to "No More Pretending", a song which illuminates a culture of popping prescription pills to numb the pain which simply builds and builds into a huge crescendo. Classic stuff.
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