Reclaim; Set Fire – Verity White (reviewed by T. Bebedor)

If you like your music ballsy, sweaty and with swagger, we may have found your new favourite singer.

Rock music lives and dies by energy, it needs to have oomph, grunt and attitude to get its message across and the new album by Cheltenham-based singer Verity White understands this perfectly.

Capturing a bands energy on a recording is the gold medal in recording rock bands. Playing live is a different beast entirely, the audience gives feedback, encouragement and musicians can add or subtract certain bits from their performance, but recording requires discipline, control and keeping that urge to go ‘off piste’ to yourself. What I’ve heard about this band all relates back to their live performances, these guys go wild and you certainly get your moneys worth but how do they hold up recorded?

The answer is pretty well.

The album has ten songs, they’re similar in style and tempo (except closing track ‘Feel This’ which is vocal and piano and hints at there being much more to this band than the previous nine tracks showcase) but this is the music you’ll hear when you see them live, so to have anything else on show here would be a bit misleading.

We open with a nice guitar riff on ‘Come and Get it’, setting the theme early on as what to expect, this is an album of distorted guitar riffs, strong vocals and a very good rhythm section, check out track two ‘Heartstorm’ for what the bass and drums are doing, it’s some intricate timing which isn’t easy to do.

It’s clear this band is influenced by the indie rock bands of the 1990’s – Skunk Anansie jumped out as an immediate relative – and this comes through in the production. I would have liked the bass to have had more presence, it tends to disappear into the mix at times, along with the drums (although the cymbals are loud and proud) and I think the bass sound itself would have benefitted from being slightly heavier-sounding, which would have given a denser foundation for the vocals to sit upon, occasionally Verity’s voice is left exposed. At times it feels like the guitar takes priority, which is a shame because the driving force of the album is the rhythm section.

There are some good moments throughout the album; the piano on ‘Feel This’ and the second vocal line which reinforces the lyrics and adds harmony and interest to the lead vocal work really well and it’s by no means a bad album, this album will get interest from venues and promoters up and down the country and if what I hear about this band is true, they’ll be able to back this up where it matters, on stage, with ease.

 

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