In the last decade there has been lots of talk about the revival of hard rock from the eighties – AOR, melodic rock, sleaze, glam – you name it and in many cases that just might be the case. At least when we’re talking quantities of new, upcoming bands and old reunited ones. But the bands that cause the most stirs are the bands that have their roots in the seventies. Bands like The Answer, Black Stone Cherry and Rival Sons have created a big fan base in the last few years and are now touring frequently, drawing big crowds and manage to sell some records in these times of illegal downloading. Plus 80’s bands like Europe and Winger are looking way back into the 70’s for inspiration and influences these days. The next band with a 70’s retro vibe to come along and kick up some dust are Texas-based rockers Scorpion Child. The band actually managed to sell some 900 copies of this, their debut album the first week of its release in the States – a pretty impressive number for an unknown new band in this day and age. The band started out back in 2006 and has spent the years playing gigs and writing music and the result can be heard on their debut self titled album, recorded with producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith – the guy who produced The Answer’s brilliant album Revival – at the helm.
The band puts any doubter in their place already by the first track “Kings Highway” – a kick ass rocker that mixes the angry noise of MC5 with the 70’s groove of Deep Purple and by then I have figured out where this is gonna go. This will kick butt and break jaws. At least, that’s what I thought it would do. “Polygon Of Eyes” keeps it going in that direction – a bit noisy, but still catchy as Hell, “Secret Spot” is a killer groover where they have borrowed the riff from Kiss’ “Watchin’ You” and “Liquor” is brilliant with a catchy hook and a Rival Sons vibe. “Antioch” is a happy camper and I hear both late 60’s / early 70’s rock and a Blind Melon melody – I love the song and I’m not even that big on Blind Melon. “Blood Red (The River Flows)” is a great ballad that rocks with a killer hook, but the hidden track is totally pointless. A long wait to hear – nothing. The song doesn’t make an impression at all – just a voice and a guitar on a recording that sounds transistor radio all the way. As a bonus track on some editions, we also get the cover of the Lucifer’s Friend track “Keep Goin'” and I would definitely get one of those editions because the song is a killer. It’s a bit dopey, but still very groovy and memorable and I hear The Doors, Rival Sons and Black Crowes in there.
This album can’t be described in any other way than as a fantastic debut. Their influences are all over the place – Black Sabbath, Cream, MC5, Deep Purple – but it never gets old or boring and they do have a sound of their own – these guys aren’t clones by any means. If you’re a fan of Rival Sons and if you have your heart in 70’s rock and hard rock, well, then this is a must. They have attitude, they’re raw and almost noisy at times, but they never lose the melody and they have hooks – shitloads of hooks. A contender for the album of the year title, no doubt. Boy, would I love to see these guys live! And yes, I was right. This did kick ass and break jaws!
Jon Wilmenius (8/10)
01. Kings Highway
02. Polygon Of Eyes
03. The Secret Spot
04. Salvation Slave
07. In The Arms Of Ecstasy
09. Red Blood (The River Flows)
10. Keep Goin’ (LUCIFER’S FRIEND cover)