Sunday, October 1, 2017

Album Review: Skarlett Riot - Regenerate

There are certain parts of the job of being a music critic that suck the life out of you, like having to review the latest disappointment from a veteran stalwart. There are other parts of the job, however, that refresh your spirit, like when you find a hungry young band ready to grab the brass ring. That is the most rewarding part of the job, being able to find new young bands that have the potential to become the next big thing, and feeling that you might have even the tiniest bit of a part in helping to get the word out about them. There have been a few bands in my time that have given me that feeling, and even though most of those that have released a second album already have not been able to follow up the success, I'm always optimistic about each one I find.

Skarlett Riot is the next band on that list.

I was aware of Skarlett Riot before "Regenerate" was announced, but I had heard their music only in passing. I knew that they had talent and potential, but I wasn't ready for what they are putting forward with "Regenerate".

Simply put, Skarlett Riot has stepped up to the big time. "Regenerate" is a ten track, forty minute album that is packed with heavy riffs, great vocals, and massive hooks. I dip into this well too often, but do you remember when Halestorm tried to go heavy, but all they did was write boring riffs and lousy songs? Well, Skarlett Riot pulls off what Halestorm was trying to do, and does it nearly perfectly.

Take opener and first single "Break" for example. After the scene is set, the riffs charge ahead like an Arch Enemy song, and the chorus reaches for the sky. It's a remarkable blend of metallic heaviness and shimmering, arena-sized hooks, and it carries throughout the album. Every track here has the heaviness a rock or metal fan craves, and a chorus the crowd will be singing back to the band when they're on stage. That kind of consistency is difficult to pull off, believe me, which makes it all the more noteworthy that Skarlett Riot doesn't misfire a single time here. As an opening statement, this is a heck of a record.

Not to discount the rest of the band, who do a great job of providing a heavy, chunky sound that straddles the line between rock and metal, but at the epicenter of the band's sound is lead singer Skarlett. She has the ability to shift her voice from youthful innocence to powerful passion, and it's her selling of the hooks that makes the band stand out from the crowd. "Regenerate" is the band's coming out party, but it's Skarlett who will be blowing out the candles on the cake.

Picking out highlights isn't necessary here. Every song on the album is just as good as the last. "Regenerate" is one of those albums where the line "all killer, no filler" is fitting. There's no wasted time on this album, which is a tight assault wisely kept from getting to the point of diminishing returns. Would an extra song or two have been nice? Sure, more great music is almost always welcome, but keeping the record finely honed and leaving us wanting more is an equally admirable thing to achieve. And that they did.

With "Regenerate", Skarlett Riot has sounded an alarm. They are coming, and you had better take note. "Regenerate" is one of the best records of the year, and Skarlett Riot is a band poised to become one of the next big things. Welcome to the big leagues, Skarlett Riot. Your first swing is a home run.

1 comment:

  1. Damn`right. If one says "Rock is dead" laugh in his face and let him or her listen to Skarlett Rain!!!!