If ever a country can be associated with good time hard rock then surely Australia must be near the top of the list with a succession of quality bands going back over 40 years that have kept the rest of the world entertained with its no frills hi-octane guitar driven music. ABLAZE are yet another up and coming outfit who have trod the boards together for many years and playing every tin pot bar and local dive and gathering a healthy following in the process.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD3XpIpwrKI&w=560&h=315]
Releasing their first single way back in 2014 “THE HARD WAY” got them noticed with the music scene. Then in 2016 they released the EP “NO TURNING BACK” resulting in their first interstate tour including support slots to both Electric Mary and The Screaming Jets and again interest was gathering pace. With the last 2 years being spent gigging and not taking their foot of the gas finally their first full album has finally landed and after a few listens its safe to say the wait has been well worth it.
This 5 piece is made up of….Danny Slaviero / Vocals
Ben Anderson / Lead Guitar
Matt Dynon / Rhythm Guitar
Dan Mangano / Drums
Dave Knight / Bass
Kicking the album off in riff heavy style “BACK FOR MORE” is a solid opener with plenty of attacking drums and one of the crispest nicest sounding guitars I have heard in a long while with Ben Anderson soloing all over the 4.12 seconds accompanied by Danny Slaviero’s throaty vocals. Not exactly a head down frantic opener but showing a more controlled approach dare I say a touch of melody detected. RET” shuffles along with the vocals being sang in two ranges with a slight hint of Joe Elliot from time to time. Such a cool swagger to this track with lots of band co-operation on the backing vocals and chorus. With 2 songs completed its plainly obvious that ABLAZE have many different styles under their belts as opposed to many groups who play the same style of track for the duration of an album.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlN9TmP1DRQ&w=560&h=315]
“KINGS & QUEENS” with its short sharp bass intro and a stuttering tempo is very much a no holding back track, rumbling along like an outback trucker. The selling point for me is again the fine vocals that are so damn catchy before it all goes quiet and that rumbling bass makes an appearance again and the soaring guitars that plays out to the end, show the heavy side of the group. This is so enjoyable because each song although sounding like the same band incorporate different styles and elements.
Here we go with first single “JUST A TASTE” and here comes the boogie with a stylish cowbell intro and heads down pace, this is a proper rock n roll track with everything you expect to hear in a classic good time pissed up bar song, more gang vocals shuffling drums insane piercing guitars and over in a blink of an eye. If you get to watch the video on the internet the lads do the song justice by putting in a frantic performance.
“WERE GONNA ROCK” starts with a bass and a guitar exchange and a cracking bluesy slow paced shuffle with lots of attitude. I really never expected this sort of track to appear on the album but I am so glad it has, it reminds me of LITTLE CAESAR, this song alone has pushed the album from very good to brilliant and with many little licks and riffs turning up left right and centre has resulted in me playing the song 4 times in a row !! This would be such a great song to play live and jam on and extend until the groups had enough,
Clocking in at nearly 7 and a half minutes, “THE DARKEST DAY” with its acoustic opening and accompanying vocals has a dark haunted feel to it, before a soft piano joins in and slowly builds and builds with drums driving the track at a very slow pace. This is the centre piece to the album with its toe curling guitar solo and dramatic climax and sure to turn many heads when listeners hear it for the first time.
TWO’S UP” brings out the AC/DC beat with the rhythm guitar ticking away behind the main groove, but again with many change of tempo crammed into such a short space of time its a track not to get bored of easily and keeps the listener on their toes. I love the way the 2 guitars work along side each other and gets you singing along even if you don’t know the lyrics !!
“WHERES MY DRINK” A nice tongue in cheek moment towards the end of the album with its smiley fast pace and vocals both sung and spoke, telling tales of drunken exploits topped off with a almost Irish jig effect. Not a track to be taken too seriously but in a shit filled doom and gloom world bands like ABLAZE and songs like “WHERES MY DRINK” is a breath of fresh air. Whilst listening to this album the most important thing for me was the enjoyment and feel good factor it dished out.
Not content with one song about drinking we have two “ BOTTOM OF MY BOTTLE” is performed as a acoustic and vocal with no drums and no electricity and again its just another aspect of what makes this debut album such a cracking effort.
Every song I have listened to whilst doing this review has been different with little time changes and passages and well constructed material. The band are popping over to the UK in November for a eleven date tour and an appearance at HRH which I will make sure I review. If the live show is half as good as this album them it will be a great evening.
Review by Steve Bruty for metalplanetmusic
Back For More
Dirty Little Secret
Kings & Queens
Just A Taste
(We’re Gonna) Rock ‘n’ Roll
The Darkest Day (What I’ve Become)
Long Way Home
Where’s My Drink?
Bottom Of My Bottle
Bar Fight Blues
UK Tour Dates
Nov 6 – Eagle Inn – Manchester
Nov 7 – Giffard Arms – Wolverhampton
Nov 8 – The Lounge – London
Nov 9 – Hard Rock Hell – Great Yarmouth
Nov 23 – Hangar 18 – Swansea
Nov 24 – Cobblestones – Bridgewater
Nov 26 – Trillians – Newcastle
Nov 27 – Bannermans – Edinburgh
Nov 29 – Winterstorm Festival – Troon
Nov 30 – Woolpack Live – Doncaster
Dec 1 – Fiddlers Elbow – London
Tickets are available here – www.wreckingcrewtouring.com/Ablaze