In a year of strong debuts UK rock band In Search Of Fire announce themselves to the world with another in the shape of the excellent Serotonin Storm EP. The six track release is an impressive introduction of fiery guitar driven songs and impassioned heart which captures the imagination and fires up the senses. The release is a tightly crafted and openly thoughtful collection of songs which either explode with adrenaline fuelled energy upon the ear or seduce with emotively charged sonic caresses, either way the band accomplished and impactful.
The promo for the release said for fans of Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, and Led Zeppelin, a list which did it no favours here to be honest. Some of those essences can be heard within Serotonin Storm as strong whispers, but for the main it offers something clearly different for a fresh invigorating new presence in UK rock.
Since forming, The Chatham quartet of vocalist and lead guitarist Andy Malet, rhythm guitarist Anthony Vandongen, bassist Connor O’Connell, and Rob Dowsett on drums have lit up stages across the southeast and breaking into London more than once or twice, with supports for The Wombats and Missing Andy under their belts. Recorded alongside Arthur Walwin, Serotonin Storm is their first big step to wider recognition and an attention receiving leap it will surely be.
Blood is pumping right from the off, opener Indie Rock n Roller storming through the ear with driving rhythms and a twisted groove to light the fires. Returning to comparisons one band did come to mind as the riot of a song blistered the air and grazed the senses wonderfully, Psychedelic Furs, well if they had evolved into a dirty punk n roll band. There is a similarity to the emotive breath created but again a whisper. The hook which permeates the song is as acute and delicious as any spawn by the Buzzcocks and the track itself is a bruising piece of punk rock brought with flair and invention. The slip into a piano touched respite is glorious and unexpected, just the first of many times the band impress similarly, before shifting back to the rampant charge of the song for its eager climax.
It is a brilliant start giving a tall order to follow for the following When In Rome and No Shit Sherlock. Though both arguably miss the target set it is by a mere hairs breath, the pair igniting further passions and enthusiasm for their creative and energy stoking sounds. The first explores the ear with caustic guitar flurries over rumbling drums from Dowsett, both Malet and Vandongen sending shards of flaming melodies and tight riffs across the ceiling of the song. It is an intensive piece of songwriting which has a stadium rock type energy, thus the Muse comparisons though it has to be said of any other band they are the ones which share the closest flavour at times. Ending with a slow reggae spiced climax which works well even if it feels like an added idea at the end, the track passes over to the fierce intent of No Shit Sherlock. Attitude soaks every word and note bringing spite to the song, further evidence of the inventive diversity within band and sound. As the track evolves you can only be in awe of the subtle way the band fit so much into their songs without disturbing their balance and natural flow, this song alone an evolving feast of imagination and melodic flare.
The potent Memory Loss lyrically and musically sends another charge of electrifying pleasure through the ear; its blues classic guitar sounds the spine for the bristling coarse kiss upon the ear whilst Dead Men’s Eyes just leaves one gasping within its scouring energy and burning might. The vocals of Malet, as everywhere just wring every passion and emotion out of the words to bring extra intensity to the tracks and none more so effectively as in the closing slow burner Moving On. A power ballad of sorts, the track initially did not find a connection, the opening razor like guitar jangles clashing with the vocals but given time the song spreads into another smart and well crafted piece of composing. It could not ignite the levels achieved elsewhere but it easily won over any doubts.
Serotonin Storm is an outstanding debut from a band which has all the credentials and talent to go a long way, watch this space.
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