It is fair to say UK rock and metal music is in a rather healthy state right now with impressive and promising bands seemingly bursting from every area of the country if not street corner. Another you can add to the list is Portsmouth rock band The Rapids. Their outstanding self titled mini album gives evidence of a band on the rise with its varied and vibrant tracks and is sure to build on the already strong responses bought towards the band.
Already gaining a great reputation for their lively gigs the band this year has not only graced and impressed at Guilfest but become the only UK band chosen out of 5,000 worldwide applicants to play the Taste of Rock 2013 World Tour. The quintet of Joshua Elkington (vocals, guitar), Phil Crawford (lead guitar/vocals), Jamie Ware (bass), Jackson Charles Allgrove (guitar), and David Bicheno-Samways (drums) are on a definite rise with radio play building for their forthcoming single Overflow taken from the album as well as more and more live shows.
The release shows the diversity of the band, at times they are a punk rock riot and in others a brew of rock n roll with multi flavouring to captivate the senses. Their live performances have been labelled as ferocious and that intensity and energy is easily indicated upon the album. The release certainly points to the band being one to catch live as well as bursting with promise.
The best two tracks open up the riot of feistiness with firstly the magnetic Another Light igniting the senses. With a welcoming hook to drool over amongst the breaking riffs the track swaggers with an energy and attitude which are as boisterous as they are heady. Choppy riffs excite the ear whilst melodic strikes burn the air around the eager vocals and rampaging presence of the band. The song is simply thumping rock n roll at its best.
The following Overflow is even better, a punk rock storm to leave one breathless. From its opening bristling riff the track is pure addiction for the senses. As catchy as any punk classic the song rifles the ear with eager riffs and addiction making hooks plus a chorus which is impossible not to add one’s own flat tones to. Vocally there is a Richard Butler of Psychedelic Furs tone to the voice of Elkington whilst the guitars swing hooks and melodies like sabres borne from the likes of Vibrators or Buzzcocks. It is a storming aural contagion of the highest order and from the opening duo of songs alone the keenness to follow the progress of the band closely is rife.
The emotive slower paced Lifeline comes next with flaming guitar play heating up the air around the ear. The song does not find the heights of the first pair but more than offers plenty to enjoy whilst opening up the diversity within the sound of the band. It is a powerful track unveiling further the creative songwriting and individual skills of the bands members.
The flying Can’t Start returns to the insatiable hungry energy from before whilst blues soaked veins flicker like lightning within the stylish rock sounds. The song grips tight and has one wrapped in its senses ruffling intensity and when the guitars light the touch paper to their scorched melodic enterprise it is another slice of irresistible rock n roll.
The remaining three songs lack some of the potency of the previous tracks though all only go to enhance thoughts about the band. Production wise there is a slight difference too making one wonder if they come from a different session or in another’s hands. Maybe It’s You and the lighter melodic hard rock toned and excellent Waves still leave excited anticipation for future releases though as well as full satisfaction whilst Everything (Summer) which sounds more like a demo track inspires the need to catch the band live.
The Rapids more than live up to the growing ‘one to watch for the future’ calls surrounding them with their album and marks them for us as certainties for big things. The album is a free download from their bandcamp page so there are no excuses available to not to ride the force which is The Rapids.
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