The ability to have ears and emotions, not to mention bodies, instantly grooving along within the first breath of their sound is not something all bands ever manage to possess or develop. It is an enticement though which seems to come instinctive to Scarlet & The Harlots, certainly on the evidence of their new album We Can’t Seem To Get Enough. Flirting with six tracks of blues rock fuelled sound and a seriously adventurous nature, the release is a diversely flavoured magnetic devilment to lose inhibitions to, and the fact that it is also basks in a voice which melodically roars, does it no harm either.
Scarlet & The Harlots is a seven piece blaze of talent and enterprise from Kent, Ohio which has quickly earned and nurtured a reputation for invigorating blues rock sounds and creative tenacity, not forgetting a passion drenched live presence, which masterfully inflame ears and imaginations. They are an eagerly devoured proposition around their home state and beyond, with a sound bred in no boundaries allowed exploits. Again that last assumption is just through a companionship of We Can’t Seem To Get Enough, our introduction to the band, but it is a description seemingly echoed by those much longer in the know. The follow-up to the band’s self-titled album of 2012, their new release easily shows it has the potential to make Scarlet & The Harlots a band on a far broader expanse of lips, and leave a devilry in the vastest stretch of souls yet.
As soon as a rich tangy guitar crafted melody hit ears, accompanied by an infectious rhythmic stamping, first song There Once Was A Girl has ears and attention wide awake, feet stirring not long after. It is a vivaciously magnetic entrance which only tempts more as a blaze of brass joins the brewing stomp of beats and grooves. It too is just the stage in the overall persuasion, the track bursting into feverish revelry as the first fiery tones of vocalist Scarlet come forth. Bluesy and tenacious, sounds and voice dance with rampant enterprise and contagious revelry yet there is a potent and intriguing hint of unpredictability at large. This suggestiveness erupts into open adventure as the song seamlessly slips into a boogie-woogie seeded swing caressed by the increasingly alluring voice of Scarlet. The lady roars with harmonies and melodies, every syllable coming with a rich wine of expression and seductiveness matched by the saucy charms of sax and trombone. The song is swiftly in control of the listener as its fire bred blues vivacity flames once again whilst still entertaining that wonderful fifties flare of enterprise.
The outstanding start is resourcefully matched by Moonshine Ghost, another song offering a lone flush of guitar sculpted bait before taking it in another landscape of ingenious and riveting scenery. Blues and funk collude to lay down a sultry and heated canvas of sonic devilry and inciting energy as the track expands, it all queened over by the increasingly enthralling and dramatic vocals of Scarlet. Her voice is like a medusa, every note and words magnetising as they lick the senses with inescapable potency on the way to enslaving ears and passions. Her rigorous strength is equalled by the heart and invention of the guitars which is in turn courted by the rhythmic lust of drums and bass. It is a thickly gripping mix given new character and colour by the album’s title track next. We Can’t Seem To Get Enough has a southern bred twang to its warm blues blood but also another swing spiced flavouring to the sultry brass expression. Already newcomers can see that no song stays on a straight course of sound, preferring to flirt with a varied mix of styles and creative exploration and the third song itself is heard coaxing in some pop and jazz coloured adventure to create another irresistible swagger of a song.
What To Do releases its whisky breath of blues spirit next, its intoxicating breath and melodies a mouth-watering flight of seventies psychedelic rock filtered rock ‘n’ roll. The track is a furnace of spicy grooves and impassioned individual prowess, alone setting senses and appetite ablaze before We Are In Control shuffles in on a rhythmic carnival and proceeds to seduce with a funk bred host of riffs and bass tempting amidst a frame of imposing and just as exciting blues rock heaviness. Music and Scarlet creatively bellow simultaneously, the two combined casting an engrossing wall of expectations evading theatre over the listeners. Of course twists are never far from the heart of the encounter with rhythms egging on a turn towards noir lit jazz escapades.
Closing song Follow has a country kissed balladry which embraces the deep lures of Scarlet’s presence, but also as all songs, a penchant to spread into new and exciting textures. A strong start just impresses more and more as it grows and draws in as many blues and melodic rich strains of enterprise it can find. The song is quite simply a bewitching end to a quite thrilling proposition.
As mentioned We Can’t Seem To Get Enough is our first affair with Scarlet & The Harlots and it certainly will not be the last, something easy to imagine a great many others saying on discovery of this forcibly enjoyable release.
We Can’t Seem To Get Enough is available now @ http://scarletandtheharlots.bandcamp.com/album/we-cant-seem-to-get-enough
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