STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 17138-10251 LABEL: Fierce! FIERCD23 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2006-04-10 RRP: £2.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
It's been a long journey for Verra Cruz to get to this point of releasing a full length project through EPs and singles as Dust and as Verra Cruz. It's a journey that's taken them through festival appearances, showcases for labels and plenty of club dates. Along the way there's been plenty of buzz about them in the mainstream and so this album has one eye on breaking them in the British rock scene. I always feel like it's the intense personal passion of Marc James that really drives this band, exploding out of his soul into his voice and guitar playing. The results throughout this album are consistently stunning. The first time I heard the album was back in April travelling on the interstate between Nashville and Memphis and this was the soundtrack for our journey and as the edgy rock came crunching out of the speakers we cranked it up louder to get the full effect. A song like the blues-influenced "Hell Hound" just seemed perfect for the moment. Elsewhere it seems like 40 years of classic rock are swept up in a twister of emotions and guitar riffs to create something thoroughly modern and yet strangely familiar. In an album of consistent highs, everything here is strong. I love the single "Guns In The Distance" with its images and observations and punchy riffs. "Rise" feels like a moment of rest after the intensity of the first half of the album with an almost Springsteenesque emotional quality. "Strange Food" is built on a superb riff that brings to mind every great rock song you've ever heard. "Deliver Us" is a psalm-like song underpinned by some fine emotive slide playing and is one of the gentler moments on the album. The band have plenty of mainstream movers, shakers and taste shapers falling over themselves to fete the band and on the strength of 'Emancipation Day', they deserve every accolade. Let's hope it translates from words into record sales and The Verra Cruz get the platform they deserve.
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