Hailing from Belfast and one of Northern Ireland's brightest new stars, Ajenda are a female fronted pop rock band who are gaining quite a good reputation for their live shows where they have supported the likes of supported FM, Mike Tramp, Ricky Warwick and The Quireboys.
'Unrecognisable' is their debut album and what the band have done is produce ten tracks that are a great blend of Rock n' Roll whilst also adding in some darker melodic moments incorporating some more serious themes.
Take 'Tattoo', for example, which has a lovely piano intro before the main riff blasts out of the speakers and you know from the first minute or so that this is a corker of a tune. The catchy guitar riff should certainly get your foot tapping, but just when you settle into the groove, the track speeds up in the middle with the guitar and vocal harmony locked in - great stuff. Vocalist Jen Walker really seems to stretch herself and comes away as a real asset to the band with her silky voice, making this track for me one of the most enjoyable tracks here.
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'Fragile' shows guitar player Gavin Cairns at his best with an acoustic showcase to start the track off. It's over a full minute before softly sung vocals arrive drawing you into the albums proper ballad which talks about relationships of the heart. The second verse is sung by a male voice (I've yet to find out who!) but this soon becomes a vocal duet.
On the whole, though, the title sums up this song perfectly as there's something wonderful about just a simple guitar and a voice combination. Top marks for a top song and one that I will certainly be listening to again and again.
Don't get me wrong, this band also produce some great rock n' roll tunes too. Take the first track on the album, 'Dirty Rock N Roll' for example. What you have here is a good solid sound with Walker's voice sounding good and strong. Again, she's able to stretch her vocal abilities during the choruses and the guitar solo from Cairns is really good too. The phrase "hedonistic funfair" is often repeated after initially sounding weird, after a few listens it seems a perfectly normal phrase.
Title track 'Unrecognisable' is another quality song which starts off quietly enough with a short intro of just the bass line (courtesy of Jan Uhrin) and a great drum beat from Pete Uhrin before the vocal line joins in and them the guitar riff slowly builds up he tension before the chorus hits you square in the face. The song reverts to the same musical pattern throughout the song so after half a dozen listens, the song really sticks in your mind but this is just one of many catchy tunes the band have in their arsenal.
I couldn't finish this review, however, without mentioning the track that closes the album, 'Olympus Monz'. The track is an interesting instrumental track which last just under three and a half minutes but it reminds me of mid-1970s Pink Floyd with it's flanged guitar sound and percussion but the track proves how talented these musicians are and are certainly a band to watch out for.
Dirty Rock N' Roll
Hatred and Greed
You can listen to the album teaser for 'Unrecognisable' here:
You can catch Ajenda live here:
Saturday 28th September - Diamond Rock Club, Ahogill
Thursday 24th October - Town Hall, Trebisov
Friday 25th October - Rock Me Fest, Kosice
Saturday 26th October - Rock Me Fest, Trencin
Sunday 27th October - Rock Me Fest, Nitra
Jen Walker - Vocals
Gavin Cairns - Guitars
Jan Uhrin - Bass
Pete Uhrin - Drums