A potentially misleading headline, but that is the image the cover art brings to my admittedly, strange mind as I listen to the debut release from Seattle-based Trip The Wire. Fronted by Eve Clarke, with Dave Farrell on guitar, Johnny Massey on bass and drummer Rico Ybarra this ten-track opus is now available on CD as well as digitally.
The most fitting description of their music is modern, traditional heavy metal… a contradiction maybe, but give it a listen and I think you’ll agree that the band take cues from classic metal and their own polish. Take opener ‘In The Crossfire’ for example, a sort of battle song with a slow intro, quickly developing into a great metal riff with instant impact as Eve traverses the octaves with consummate skill backed by a strong, solid band.
They go steamy, lyrically at least, on ‘Hurricane’ backed with an almost commercial, NWOBHM feel and a great sounding bass behind the quality riff and solo. Need a ballad? Well at the halfway point, we get an archetypal rock ballad with a distinct Stevie Salas feel to the guitar intro and, when it’s performed live, opportunities are aplenty to wave the cigarette lighter or the modern, less painful but ultimately not as satisfying, equivalent.
Elsewhere we get the Cooperian darkness of ‘Zombie Child’; the gentle acoustic opening to the powerful, heavy ‘The Fire’: the (nearly) grungey ‘Outta My Hands’ and my current favourite, the Priestly ‘Never Enough’.
This is an exceptional debut that, whilst not breaking new ground, is high-quality heavy rock/metal performed with skill, passion and belief. It is
Trip The Wire is available on 16th June