3. Orange Rivers
Raze, a currently unsigned five piece Metal/Grunge band from Stevenage, have released their debut EP. The 5 tracks on the EP seem to showcase their talents, and are full of really nice technical touches.
The EP starts with ‘Southpaw’. It starts with a 4 beat count in on the top hat, with 12 beats from the bass before the guitars kick in. the vocals are crisp and distinctive. The chorus has a good hook with ‘Whooooo calls me out? Whooooo wants a fight?’. There is a screaming guitar solo towards the end of the track before the final chorus and then a very abrupt ending. It seems that Raze wanted to grab our attention with the first track.
The second track is the first single to be released from the EP. I can see why, but I do not think that this is the strongest track. It starts with a very fast double guitar riff, and I love hearing fingers sliding down the strings, so I am happy with this. The lyrics are catchy with ‘I am frozen. I’m stuck like a rabbit in the headlights’. After the first chorus, there is some sweet reverb on the guitar and then a military beat on the drums. The lyric becomes more melodic, with stabbing guitar chords. This builds back so that the song ends up faster than it started. Again the ending is extremely abrupt. This track will never be faded out.
I liked ‘Orange Rivers’ as it started again with the Bass line only, and those sliding fingers down the strings. The guitars kick in with reverb and very nifty fret work in their rapid licks. I think the vocal is more understated on this track, which works well with the instrumentation backing it. There is an extremely good screaming guitar solo, until it builds to the climax with nice reverb and feedback. This feeds straight into the 4th track on the EP, ‘Grey’ and by a clever twist this is very different melancholic track. The guitar intro is fairly long for a short track and works very well with the drums. The lyric is reminiscent of the style of Nirvana, whilst the melody is more reminiscent of bands such as Marillion. More feedback leads into another fine guitar solo. The track ends with the trademark reverb.
The final track ‘Learn’ returns to the pace of the start of the EP. It is fast and furious with guttural roars. This track ensures that the EP ends with all guns blazing. The vocal is strong with nice gaps in the instrumentation. Two thirds of the way through there is a clever piece where the bass initially duels with the drums, with the guitars then taking over. This showcases the musicians very well, and builds into a nice rhythm, like an ongoing train. The EP ends as abruptly as it started.
It took a few listens to this EP, before I got into it. Once I did I realised that this is a good effort in putting Raze in the shop window. Whilst it strangely started with, what I consider to be one of the weakest tracks. It got better throughout.
This is a good debut EP and I am surprised that the band is currently unsigned. The guitar work is extremely impressive, with most of the tricks of the trade on show. The drumming drives the tracks, and the bass does not just sit in the background. There are a lot of bands currently playing music like this in the clubs, building a loyal following. Are Raze different enough or better enough to be noticed? I hope so.
Website - www.raze-band.co.uk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RAZEOFFICIALBAND/
Review - Tony Creek