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'Empire Of The Damned'
(Outcast Records)
Out now

Sean Cameron

Sean Cameron

butcher babies

Falling Red are a band with a message as hard edged as the Cumbrian land they come from. And that message is don't trust anyone, the government, the capitalists, and our own obsessive need for possessions. They demand of us that we rise up and break free.

Secretly, a nicer bunch of guys it would be hard to meet.

Rozey, singer and lead guitarist is a good front man for the band. Drummer Dave Sanders beats out rhythms on his kit with such aggression, you'd be forgiven for thinking his bank manager was hiding in them. Jayde Starr drives the rhythm guitar and sports an impressive hairdo. And up until recently bass guitar was played by Dann Marx, unfortunately due to personal commitments he has had to step down his place has been taken by Mikey Lawless. Dann's final show with the band will be in April.

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'Empire Of The Damned' is their new album (recorded with Dann Marx) and it is full of strong riffs, catchy tunes and enough slogan chanting to entice a rebellion.

Time to rise introduces the theme of the album, urban grit and Orwellian warning. Starting with bass guitar intro and spoken bulletin.

Track two, the eerie 'Devil You Know', entices the listener with lyrics like "I'm that breath on the on your neck", tempting you to put your deepest, hidden thoughts into actions. I can tell you from experience that this track alone will add an extra thirty mph to any speed you are driving at.

Don't listen to this album on the motorway and expect to still have a licence by the time you reach your destination.

'We Escaped A Cult' builds from the sound of a lone guitar swinging from speaker to speaker, then the clickety click rhythmic drumming starts to lure you in, before a powerful guitar rif hits you like a runaway articulated lorry. The chorus mantra catches you out and finds you joining in. And Rozey's sneering style singing fits perfectly.

'Break Me' has the kind of beat that causes, even an old fart like me to want to head-bang. I love it, old school at its best.

'Outcast' has a somewhat lonely feel to it which I guess isn't much of a surprise given the title. Do make a point of listening out for the riff after the first and third chorus though, seriously addictive.

'Disposable' starts with announcement that this generation is disposable, Dave Sanders beats out a rhythm and Rozey joins him on guitar. The sound of air raid siren in the background heralds a new riff. Again a despairing plea to "rise up and take what is yours" is propelled through your speakers.

'Empire Of The Damned' starts with just Rozey quietly strumming his guitar and singing along. It continues to the whole group chanting "This is the heartbeat of the revolution", (with some gorgeous plectrum plucking in the background) I defy you not to find yourself joining in, without even realising it.

Track eight, again, starts quietly, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and vocals then the freight train drumming starts. The tune of the singer matches the bass line and they are off again. 'No Sanctuary' has a fast lead break confirming Rozey's skill with an axe.

'Change for No One' starts as it means to go on. Hard, fast and furious, with little room for compromise. I have to confess at this point that I thought that one of the lyrics in the chorus said "consider the concept of your thighs". It's not, but you need to buy the album to find out what it actually says. Possibly a thought for the future though lads.

Halfway through the track, with no warning, we go all mellow before all hell breaks loose again, and Rozey is flying up and down the frets like a madman. The song finishes somewhat abruptly though.

I really like this album, (you may have noticed) more polished but with the raw energy of their first album, 'Shake The Faith' (2010) and easily equal to EP 'Hasta La Victoria Siempre' 2011. I wish them well on their extensive touring schedule this year.


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