Monday, April 15, 2024

Screaming Eagles – From The Flames

We were lucky to see the Screaming Eagles at the Hard Rock Hell ‘Highway To Hell’ contest in Glasgow last year. Not surprisingly, this rock band from Northern Ireland won a coveted slot – playing at Hard Rock Hell – and gaining some precious recording time. At the Glasgow Grand they sounded to us like the U.S. hard-rockers Buckcherry – but the main voice of Chris Fry is much more ‘old school’ than Josh – as if Chris had been born in the first period of the British Blues Rock. We loved ‘em. They started the competition – the first band to play – and set the bar so high that it seemed unlikely anyone could beat them. At that point, though, the band was still pretty unpolished.

They have scrubbed-up since then (a few months of hard work). And now they have released their sparkling début album. (Mixed and engineered by Ross Cullen, mastered by Mark Chalecki) Entitled From The Flames.

‘All the Way’ struts out at you, to start with, like a early Bon Scott number … but there’s still a lot of smoky bar-room blues going on – so it sounds as if Bad Company had suddenly decided to get their corporate tackles out and parade themselves around the studio like a bunch of boogie-children. Not exactly Mott the Hoople – but in that area. The result is pretty combustible. The chorus sticks in your skull, the guitars rip into your temporal lobes. And the vocal outbursts from Chris Fry fly through the speakers like full-frontal discharges of acid gravel.

‘Down the River’ is slightly sinuous. The main vocal is sneering. The guitars are sleazy and mature. This is all about walking down the “River of shame… ” and how to deal with our life … living (as a man) after being dumped. It is full of acrimony and bitter sentiment.

‘Hungry for More’ has some superb riffs (built skilfully by Aidy McAleenan on guitar) with low oily notes (provided by Ryan Lilly on bass). This is oily and sweaty. Like being hit in the face with blast from a grease-gun. You’ll feel dirty – even after washing out this mucky gel. But somehow, it feels so good.

‘Devil in the Dust’ is basically ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ – but this time around wearing dirty overalls and coated steel boots. Then ‘Rock N Roll Soul’ refreshes and re-vitalizes you. It is the most blues-rocky of all the tracks on the album. It would not be out of place on the last pages of a ‘Free’ discography. The guitar work is beautiful and eloquent. The drums rattle like rail-cars, and the hoarse voice will cause your knees to jiggle and your hips to peak.

‘Blood’ starts like yet another AC/DC track. With that picky kind of riff riff that creeps itself under your skin. And a steady pulsing bass-line. The vocal braces itself against all this hand riveted metalwork. It feels hairy and agile. It reeks of masculinity.

The album finishes with ‘Take My Time’ and some loud, stunning drum work. This is a magnificent song. It prowls like an impudent cougar. It is the weightiest piece on the album – the first track that could truly be considered heavy metal. As such, it is our favourite track. It’s dark, mean and aggressive.

There is nothing spectacularly new on ‘From The Flames’. It is a handsome coalescence of early British blues-rock sounds and newer (slightly sleazier) heavy metal sounds. As such, the two types of rock become one continuous solid . The musicianship is skilled. The vocals are like raging oceans of torment and expressive anguish. And the guitar-play is exciting and incinerating. The Screaming Eagles could very well be your next favourite rock band. File them next to Snakecharmer or even Black Stone Cherry.

Screaming Eagles ‘From The Flames’ is out now via Off Yer Rocka Recordings.




Neil Mach
Neil Mach
RAMzine Senior Writer - With a career spanning 30 years author / journalist Neil Mach is an expert on the music business and is a reliable guide. He especially loves heavy metal, prog & blues.

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