As the saying goes: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”, and Northern Irish rockers Screaming Eagles certainly do have it and, boy, do they ever flaunt it, right here on their debut album “From The Flames”. I’ve been listening to this album for a while now, and I just keep getting more and more attached to it. Foot to the floor, pedal to the metal, balls to the wall – whatever you want to call it – that’s what this album is: 10 tracks that will rock you up and down and sideways, and have you asking for more.
Put together some AC/DC muscle and riffy heaviness, some blues-rocking soulfulness, some straight-up hair-band strut and attitude, add some red-hot guitar playing, and some seriously power-packed and passionate vocals, and you have something of what defines this band’s sound. It shares that underlying classic, rocking groove that is fuelling the rise of bands like Canada’s Monster Truck, and California sensations Rival Sons.
“From the Flames” charges out of the gate like speeding bullet with “All The Way”, a track so hot it just about sets my hair on fire with Chris Fry’s gold-plated vocals and Adrian McAleenan’s rip-roaring guitar. Ryan Lily on bass and Kyle Cruikshank on drums back them up just perfectly too, and as with all really good bands, you can feel and hear how the band-members feed off each other’s energy.
There’s a section of the absolutely fabulous “Hungry for More” where Fry’s vocals (“you make me feel like Jekyll and Hyde”) slide so perfectly and deliciously over the guitar and rhythm sections hefty muscle that I get shivers. And the whole album is filled with magic moments like that.
The heavy and hard “Devil In The Dust” is another stellar track, with thick and meaty riffs, an intensity that is out of this world, and Fry finding the sweet spot right between soulful and rock’n’roll wailing,. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Soul” is a great rock’n’roll revival sermon and gives the joyous feeling of a band that just loves what they’re doing, making me love it in return.
Every track here brings its own satisfaction, like “One Man Revolution” with its scorching guitar and bass barrage, and those hefty drums that just own me. “Blood” has a loose and glorious vibe, with the band just jamming out the goodness, while “Take My Time” plays harder and rougher and deliciously so.
It seems almost impossible that this band only formed in 2012 – they sound so together and so tight and so damn good – but then such things can happen when the right people get together and manage to catch lightning in a bottle. This band is that kind of lightning, and if you haven’t checked out this album yet, you need to rectify that right away.
- Chris Fry: vocals
- Adrian McAleenan: guitars
- Ryan Lily: bass
- Kyle Cruikshank: drums
- All The Way
- Down The River
- Hungry For More
- Fight The Fire
- Devil In The Dust
- Rock ‘N’ Roll Soul
- One Man Revolution
- Take My Time
(This review was originally published at Hard Rock Nights.)