Florence Black is one of the brightest shining stars of the UK underground rock scene. The Welsh trio has gained an almost cult following due to their fantastic singles and EPs, impressive live shows, and all-around rockstar aura. The band finally released their debut album this last week too, and I for one cannot wait to review it. They are a band that has been on my radar for a few years and I have been a fan since I first heard them, so this should be good!
‘ZULU’ opens atmospherically, with thirty seconds of beautiful guitar twiddles and wind noises. It then builds into a HEAVY guitar riff, the rest of the band exploding in and filling it out perfectly. Tristan Thomas’ powerful, almost Ryan McCombs-like vocals come in for the verse, giving it an almost industrial/nu-metal vibe for a second. The fantastic, infectious riff breaks up two opening verses before a pretty good chorus tops it off. The chorus itself felt like it was less big and catchy than the verses, which can sometimes be a bit of a problem, but it didn’t seem to affect this track at all. It was still damn catchy, just like the rest of the track so far. An even heavier riff comes in after the second chorus, the drums being a particular highlight over the top, it reminding me of those rare times these days where Black Stone Cherry really cut loose and get heavy. We then head into a final big chorus to finish things off and make this one of the easiest playlisted songs I’ve ever had to do!
‘INSIDE OUT’ does little to get rid of the nu-metal vibes, instead leaning into them with Tristan whispering what I assume is the chorus lyrics over the top of a pretty great guitar riff. It’s awesome. The riff kicks in properly afterwards, another crazy heavy but still damn groovy one. The verse comes in with some fantastic harmonies on the vocals, adding some great depth. The band actually goes a different way with the chorus, a repeated line of vocals sung very well and almost giving it an Egyptian-style vibe with the little guitar runs beneath it. It wasn’t the chorus I was expecting, but it was still good! We instead get the opening lines in a mini-breakdown after the second chorus and are almost screamed. It sounds amazing, somehow even better than the intro. It then just fades out gradually on this riff. An odd structure for a song but a damn good song nonetheless!
‘ON THE ROPES’ opens on a quick riff and some awesome wah before again exploding in with the heaviness the rest of the band brings around it. It stays pretty heavy through the verse with Tristan pretty much screaming the vocals Corey Taylor style over the quick pace of the instrumentation. The chorus opens up a little vocally, the harmonies again being great and making it all even catchier, but it doesn’t slow down for a second. We get an awesome bridge riff coming out of the second chorus, one that had me banging my head a lot, before it quickly gives way to the final chorus and the end of the song. Another great one!
The following two, ‘SUN & MOON’ and ‘CAN YOU FEEL IT?’, are the two singles from the album. Both are fantastic songs, but I’ve also heard both so much since their release in the leadup to the album (as well as hearing them at Rockin’ The Bowl Festival), that I don’t feel I can objectively speak about their good points and bad points. Both are fantastic songs that I would simply urge you to check out ASAP, with the former being more a slower ballad type that I honestly think is going to catapult the band to huge heights in the near future. Both were playlisted before the album came out, and I do not at all regret that decision.
‘GROVE STREET’ is another slower track, this one pretty heavily leaning into blues territory, giving off even more BSC vibes than they had previously. It gets a little heavier and bigger in the chorus, but still stays slower and more of a ballad. The chorus is fantastic too, maybe the catchiest yet. There isn’t much more I can say about this track, it’s just a solid, enjoyable slower song. Another one I’d recommend you check out even if you don’t check out the whole album!
‘BLACK CAT’ is another great track and gives off almost an Iron Maiden feel with the main riff. It’s pretty heavy too, one of the heavier songs on the album by a fair stretch, but outside of saying ‘it’s good!’ I’m struggling to think of much else to say about it. The album and band as a whole are so damn consistent that I’m struggling not to just gush about every song. They do feel like the new Soil, but hopefully, they get to a higher position than Soil, as they very much deserve it!
The same could be said for the final three tracks, ‘THE DEEP END’, ‘SO FAR AWAY’ and ‘THE LIGHT’. None are bad songs by any stretch, all are fantastic in fact, but I don’t have much to say about them when they are all good and I’ve said so much good stuff already about the previous tracks. The first is another heavy BSC track, bluesy and chunky in the best ways. The second is another slower ballad, the chorus being HUGE and amazing, another of the highlights of the album. The solo for it was also awesome. The final track is another big one, a heavy, anthemic, and perfect way to close an album. All is damn good stuff!
Overall: I absolutely loved this. Even more than I thought I would, in fact. Every song was as enjoyable as the next, with a couple of tracks somehow managing to stand out even over them. I cannot help but predict massive things for these guys in the future, and I cannot wait for their next release already!
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