For those looking for some fresh melodic rock with pop punk overtones heading over to For All The Non Believers, the debut album from UK band White Clouds And Gunfire, would be a definite recommendation. Comprised of eight extremely well crafted and impressively presented songs from musicians which undoubtedly knows how create flavoursome melodies, the release makes a richly promising wider introduction of a band which has already been making ripples ensuring that the album’s appearance September 2nd has for a great many been eagerly awaited.
Formed in 2009, the Peterborough band went through a time of line-up instability during its first eighteen months or so before finding a steady plateau to build upon late 2011. Subsequent support slots and the sharing of stages with bands such as We Are Fiction, Mallory Knox, Army Of Freshmen, Sonic Boom Six, OPM, MC Lars, and The Hype Theory have increased the stature and reputation of White Clouds & Gunfire whilst their first EP, Zero To Hero was home to acclaim from the underground through to the likes of Rocksound and Big Cheese. Now the quintet of vocalist Eveline Verdegaal, guitarists/vocalists Byron Marr and Alex Cox, bassist/vocalist Rob Woods, and drummer Lewis Fountain, stand poised to make a major impression and statement with For All The Non Believers.
From the first minute of opener Bruised Not Broken you have a full declaration of what you are getting from the band, impressively written and presented songs with a more than loud whisper of Paramore about them. There are many other names you could place before them but the American band is the loudest call for sure, though White Clouds And Gunfire does suggest that in their armoury the band has the means and invention to create something more unique ahead. Starting with evocative keys leading into a vibrant and energetic start, the song takes little time in bringing feet and senses alive, the outstanding vocals of Verdegaal backed well by other members of the band, instantly magnetic whilst the guitars of Marr and Cox paint a provocative narrative around the driving drums and roaming bass lines. Harmonies also soar throughout the track to open up strong hunger for the release and help make it a rather impressive start to the album.
Same Old Town and You Can’t Bring Me Down continue the strong beginning, the first of the pair offering a reminder of eighties band The Photos at times as it strolls melodically and energetically through the ear. Again the vocals stand out whilst the guitars flame and dance with imaginative poise to spark the appetite further whilst its successor brings a more anthemic breath to its persuasion with the rhythms of Fountain alongside the pressing intensity of Woods creating a commanding and potent cage for the rest of the band to flourish within.
The exciting riot of drums which opens up next track Poison immediately has lips licked though in some ways the full expansion of the song is underwhelming in comparison, though still another well-defined and warm romp which is as emotive and tender as it is frenetic and greedy for attention. As ever the vocals steer the ship magnificently and the drums crash through defences with skill and predaciousness but equally at this point on the album you realise there is a familiarity and similarity across the release which is louder than the individual traits of songs. It means a deep focus to truly pick out those singular attributes is often needed though in many ways not a major issue on this release such the quality of the songs and their temptation but certainly it might be an issue ahead. The promise bred by the album and the already open creativity and skill of the band suggests this uniqueness will organically evolve, though time as always will tell.
The best songs on the release step up side by side next starting with Pebbles. With an excellent effected start the track gains pace by the second until exploding into a full on punk pop tease with a simultaneous snarl and melodic elegance. Finding a gentler though still rowdy presence, thanks to the again crispy powerful drums, the guitars weave a sonic maze of enterprise around Verdegaal, their flames licking at the walls of the song with invention and riveting adventure. It is probably fair to say the track is again close to the songs before but it has that indefinable something which lifts it above the others and into the passions. Reflection too has that extra element setting it apart, Verdegaal simply enthralling and the guitars poetic in their melodic fire whilst the keys and the stronger and lengthier male vocal contribution are an inspired touch setting the track as the pinnacle of the album and debatably the first to truly stand out.
Dreams and Since You Were Gone complete the album with both in full control of attention and limbs. The first holds a thumping attitude and creative swagger with the bass of Woods finding a new and its finest voice on the release. The track in full stride offers an irresistible hungry stomp which leaves lungs breathless whilst its companion makes a fiery finish with gang shouts and melodic drizzles of entrancing colour which help add that ear catching element all great songs have.
For All The Non Believers is a thrilling and extremely satisfying album from a band which has a massive future awaiting them if they want to seize it. Admittedly it lacks that killer song which lingers and shapes your heart and as mentioned the band still has not that distinctive presence to ensure they stay in thoughts away from view, but White Clouds & Gunfire write and create songs which you cannot dismiss such their passion, imagination, and expertise, and that can take them a long way. Watch this space is our suggestion…
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