Scotland’s fastest rising band in the NWOCR scene, She Burns Red, finally released their highly anticipated debut album last week. To say anticipation was high feels like an understatement. I’ve seen nothing but praise for this album so can’t wait to dive in!
The album starts off with a bang curtesy of a great riff to open ‘Touch’. It’s heavy, quick and sets the tone and pace perfectly. The vocals fit perfectly over the top of the playing, the verse instantly feeling massive and catchy. It also means that it leads to an awesome chorus, especially with the backing vocals doing the ‘woh’s. It’ll go over a storm live! The guitar solo is also a massive highlight of the track, being massively technical and fitting the song perfectly. The track is balls to the wall from start to finish, and it’s an amazing choice for an opening track. It gives the listener a taste of exactly what the band are about.
Next up is lead single ‘Rise and Fall’. Another awesome, sludgy blues riff kicks you in the face right from the offset, before giving way to another fun verse. I honestly love the vocal delivery on this album so far too, it almost gives off early 2000s US radio-rock vibes, somehow fitting in so well with the more UK blues rock/grungy instrumentation. Again, it all builds perfectly into another huge, arena-filling chorus. The backing vocals add so much but honestly, all of it is catchy as hell. It’s another great solo to cap off a fantastic, full on track. This one easily makes our playlist, awesome stuff!
It’s great, hard riff after great, hard riff with She Burns Red, as the one that opens ‘Killing Time’ is fucking awesome! I also love that the guitars drop out for the verse, adding a fun dynamic and giving more of a focus on the vocals, drums and bass. The slightly slower pace was nice too, changing things up a bit. It still has a huge chorus though, honestly one of my favourite on the album. It’s so damn catchy, reminding me a lot of not only Breaking Benjamin or Saving Abel, but also Those Damn Crows. I can’t get over how good the chorus is, and it’s a second straight track on our playlist. The tracks, while rather formulaic in their basic structure, are incredibly well crafted and written. It’s the perfect modern radio rock, catchy but having plenty of talented playing and a darker edge to it.
The bands remix of their old single, ‘Crosshairs’ is a fantastic change of pace for the album. It’s immediately lighter and feels more punk-inspired than the previous tracks. After three similar-ish tracks, this was the perfect placement. The opening vocals and fuzzy guitar is immediately catchy and memorable. It feels more Green Day or Dropkick Murphys than anything hard rock, and I love it. She Burns Red don’t just stick to one sound or genre, and it’s massively admirable. Especially when they can pull off the different styles effortlessly. This is a punk ballad of the highest quality, and it’s impossible not to put this on our playlist too!
‘Heavy is the Head’ returns to their more hard rock sound, as well as more excellent riffing. It’s similar in pace and feel to ‘Killing Time’, which I can’t complain about at all! It has a typically great chorus, much like the rest of their tracks, and follows the standard radio-rock structure. Honestly, the same could be said about ‘Crack the Sky’ and the album closer and title track. Both are fantastic tracks, but fit in with the style of some of the earlier tracks. I simply don’t want to repeat myself over and over by gushing over the tracks in a similar way! I do have to say, however, that the closing track reminds me ever so slightly of BFMV’s ‘Bittersweet Memories’, which is awesome!
I’m sorry if this offends any of the band or their fans, but ‘Run’ is straight up Creed. It’s great, because man do I love Creed. But everything about the guitar playing and tone is straight up early Mark Tremoni, and the vocals remind me a little of a mixture of his and Scott Stapp’s. It’s another massive, anthemic track that I feel would do amazingly well on the radio. I can’t get enough of this song, and it’s yet another that finds its way onto our Spotify!
Finally, ‘Stronger’ is another great track. It has a swaggering attitude to it that the rest of the tracks don’t quite have. It still has their trademark amazing choruses, but the verses feel almost more like Velvet Revolver. The darker tone and energy again added a new wrinkle to the album and kept my attention perfectly. It’s another awesome song that feels perfectly placed in the album, breaking everything up well. And that solo, damn, amazing.
Overall: Wow, this is something special. Being a big fan of the band and reading some of the pre-release reviews, I was excited to hear it. However, I think it still somehow exceeded my lofty expectations. Every track on it is amazing, and at only nine songs it’s perfectly concise. There are plenty of highlights but honestly, I can’t recommend the album as a whole enough. These guys are going to be massive sooner rather than later.
The Score: 9.5/10