SCORPION CHILD – Acid Roulette

SCORPIONCHILDcdMany moons ago (a few years actually) I was in this Facebook music group where we posted music videos, Spotify links and YouTube audios of artists known and unknown that we liked and hoped someone else would pick up on. I liked that group but of course, there’s always have to be some dip-shit that ruins it for everyone else and starts behaving like a dick, so I left the group. Too bad because I have picked up quite a lot of cool, new music from there. One day, a guy posted a video by this Texan retro rock band called Scorpion Child. At first it didn’t interest me as I didn’t like the name and the video looked like some amateurish home-made work of art and besides, it had been raining old retro acts for quite some time that had one or both their feet in the 70’s and it was actually getting a bit overmuch. But soon I saw the many positive comments and checked it out properly. What hit me like a ton of bricks was, yes, this was hard rock, 70’s retro stuff, but this lot was heavy and melodic with melodies to die for. Of course, I had to check out their self-titled debut album, released in 2013 and of course, the damned thing blew me the f**k away – hard! Needless to say, I bought the CD right off the bat and the record still holds a safe place in my phone. But since the release of that album, things have been pretty quiet when it comes to band – at least I didn’t hear much surrounding the band and as the years passed by, I guessed that Scorpion Child had ended up just like so many other bands disbanding after only one (great) album. So when the news broke that Scorpion Child were about to release a new album a couple of months ago were really great news. This time, the band have put together a concept album about a man who is imprisoned for a murderous crime, forced to confess by his wife and her wealthy lover so that the couple could run their own race without him in the way. The album goes through his first year behind bars month after month, making every song one month, like a musical diary of this person. A pretty cool idea, I think. But what about the music then? I mean, the guys do have a lot to live up to after their brilliant debut.

Opener “She Sings, I Kill” sets the record straight right away. This Zeppelin meets Sabbath groover is the fist in the gut I had hoped for. The contrast of the catchy melody on top of the heavy rhythm gives the tune dynamics and I get the feeling that after listening to this song this album is another winner. The winning formula continues with the superb “Reaper’s Danse”, a fast, heavy and hard in-your-face rocker that will nail you to the wall if you play it loud enough. “My Woman In Black” rocks in a more straight forward, take no prisoners vibe. It’s really edgy and at times angst ridden which works with the song’s title and theme. The melody is really strong and fits the song like a glove. The title track boosts a mid-tempo pace, but is still heavy and a bit trippy in a psychedelic way. Somewhere in there there’s a trace of 80’s hard rock as well, something that the song clearly benefits from – another brilliant tune. “Winter Side Of Deranged” might come across as a bit noisy, but at the same time it sports a melody that is very memorable and the song is more melodic and catchy than anything else. “Séance” is more of a spooky intermission than an actual song and the spoken word sounds like it will take us right in to a real séance with its chanting and the cinematic feel is imminent. “Twilight Coven” is a head on 70’s hard rocker and sounds like it could have come off their debut album but it does bring along a big pop feel which takes the song in another direction than the retro rock thing that is so popular among the so-called retro bands. “Survives” is a heavy ballad, based on piano but quickly brings along the rock. This is as close as we get to a power ballad from this lot, close enough to bring early 90’s hard rock to mind, I could actually see this one become a hit. “Blind Man’s Shine” brings us back to the Zep meets Sabs mold, a fat and heavy retro rocker with a riffing organ on top – and a groove that is fierce. “Moon Tension” comes with a lethal refrain over the groovy and swinging hard rock – it sure has the beat from Hell.  There’s some Deep Purple riffing in the intense groove of “Tower Grove”, a song that swings like crazy. The amazing refrain hits me like a ton of bricks and drills itself right inside of my skull and once there it refuses to leave – how brilliant. “I Might Be Your Man” has this big bluesy groove, reminiscent of Deep Purple’s “Mistreated”, but the band puts their own stamp on it right off the bat. The infectious groove will surely make it a song for the stage in the future. The closing track “Addiction” rocks with a hellish groove but at the same time, the song is very much pop – almost more 70’s pop than 70’s rock – and the melody is intoxicating. The song fades out with the sound of waves and after a while it feels like you’re standing on the beach yourself – very tranquilizing. The whole wave thing is a bit long though, but it’s still a great way to close the album.

With Acid Roulette, Scorpion Child have provided us with a second round of superb hard rock, rootsy and ballsy music with one feet in the 70’s. But what makes Scorpion Child stand out from many of the other so-called retro acts is that they’re not satisfied with just being another back to 70’s, Zeppelin influenced rockers. See, this band have no problem with throwing in a nod towards the 80’s, pop music, power balladry and melodies that feels even hitty – but you won’t find any cheese no matter how hard you try. Many of the songs sticks right away, but it’s still not as easy listening as that might sound because I always get the feeling that the songs will grow – maybe not as in being better but in the way that you will discover new things for a long time to come. Also, the whole concept / theme of this record might sound a bit deep and for some people, even a bit pretentious, but make no mistake – this album is a total rocker where every song will stand perfectly on its own as in the album’s theme. Personally, I think the whole story with the “diary” way of telling it is really cool and if this was a movie, I would definitely go and see it. But this is not a movie, it’s a record and what an ace of a record it is. If you liked the debut, you’ll love this one because it is even better. If you haven’t heard neither of their two albums, it’s bloody time to do so now!

9/10

Other Scorpion Child reviews:

Scorpion Child

Tracklist:

1. She Sings, I Kill
2. Reaper’s Danse
3. My Woman In Black
4. Acid Roulette
5. Winter Side Of Deranged
6. Séance
7. Twilight Coven
8. Survives
9. Blind Man’s Shine
10. Moon Tension
11.  Tower Grove
12. I Might Be Your Man
13. Addictions

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