As much as Target:Renegades’ debut album [Press Start] impressed and provided an immense enjoyment last year, it suggested there was plenty more within the UK band yet to be explored and brought to the creative surface. It hinted at an originality which it arguably did not really bring in its striking songwriting and gripping sound but now that suggestiveness has been realised with the Dark Sounds EP, and in turn brought Target:Renegades easily their finest moment yet, easily overshadowing what is still a highly accomplished and riveting album.
Hailing from Warrington and with inspirations from the likes of Deftones, Karnivool, Faith No More, and Pearl Jam in their creative intent, Target:Renegades quickly drew keen and increasing attention with their explosive live performances and equally dynamic hard rock seeded songs. First release, the Corruption For Beginners EP, poked wider awareness in 2012, backing up a growing live reputation which has only been cemented and enhanced over the past years as the North-West quartet shared stages with the likes of The Vibrators, Sumo Cyco, and I Am Giant. As mentioned [Press Start] thrust the strongest spotlight on the band yet with its unleashing in 2014, radio play and media acclaim joining the support of Target:Renegades’ ever increasing and loyal fan base. Now we have Dark Sounds, four songs which push the band amongst bigger more established boys, and shows most of them a ferocious thing or two.
The release opens with the outstanding We Are Dead, a track taking no time in stirring up the passions. From an opening roll of drums, spicy grooves and ravenous riffs quickly enclose ears as the beats of Matt Reid bash the senses. It is an irresistible start which only increases its grip on ears and imagination as vocalist Adam Hulse brings his ever gruff and enticing tones out to play within the tenacious scenery of the song. The bass of Jack Hamnett courts it all with an almost carnivorously dark and throaty sound, a psychopathic texture against the virulent torrent of addictive hooks and incendiary grooves uncaged by guitarist Dan Fido. The song proceeds to storm the senses with a chorus soaked in anthemic persuasion, though to be honest that applies to the whole of the infection posing as a song. Everything about the encounter is memorable and lingering, an epidemic of bruising and creatively salacious rock ‘n’ roll, and the best thing penned by the band yet, though definitely rivalled later.
The following Filthy similarly needs few seconds to awaken ears and appetite with its dirtily inviting presence. Once more the bass of Hamnett is a bear of a proposal within the song, its grouchy tones aligned to the keen edged swipes of Reid whilst complimenting the ever magnetic and gravelly delivery of Hulse. Compared to its predecessor, the song is a more restrained proposal with the enterprise of Fido less expansive, yet it offers some of the richest hooks and suggestive melodies found on the release. It is also a song rich with a variety of essences, at times a grungy rapacity fuelling its invention and in others a more punkish air, whilst its spine is just predatory rock ‘n’ roll.
Latest single Brave Coward is next and it too is a pinnacle in the Target:Renegades invention. A melancholic melody wraps ears initially, its potent lure quickly inviting a more agitated but still checked enterprise of rhythms. The strings of Fido continue to seduce and bewitch as a rawer air brews around them and the voice of Hulse. The singer again reveals more of his diversity and prowess, his reflective croon and impassioned roar within the song an incitement to ears and the intensity of the exceptional encounter. It is an ingenious tempest of a track, whether bellowing with anthemic and emotional ferocity or seducing with its melodic resourcefulness, it has ears engrossed and the passions enslaved.
Dark Sounds is closed by Losing Now, a more classic hard rock prowl in ears but again a track with a web of additional flavours and skilful tenacity. The song also grumbles from start to finish, bass and riffs an antagonistic temptation around which vocals and imagination cast a magnetic tapestry of snarling adventure. Though maybe not as an immediate stirring of the blood and passions as its predecessors, the track grows and intensifies its persuasion with every passing minute and subsequent listen, bringing the EP to an impressive end and spotlighting more of the expanding depths in the band’s sound and intent.
The national rock landscape is blessed with some of the most exciting emerging and potential scene changing propositions right now and Target:Renegades is right there amongst them. In fact with Dark Sounds now in their arsenal, they are on the frontline. British rock ‘n’ roll is on the prowl!
The Dark Sounds EP is released at the end of June with pre-orders taken @ http://www.targetrenegades.bigcartel.com/product/dark-sounds-ep-cd
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