Four years after the release of their well-received debut album Black Truth & White Lies, French rockers Backtrack Lane return with new EP, In Fine. Offering six creatively robust and impassioned tracks, the EP revels in a new energy and flair of enterprise in the Paris quartet’s sound; it a mix of the familiar and the captivatingly fresh sparking rich enjoyment with ease.
Formed in 2009, Backtrack Lane has played hundreds of gigs across their homeland, moving from small local stages to some of the most prestigious venues whilst playing alongside the likes of Black Star Riders, Gotthard, and numerous more. 2011 saw the release of first EP, It’s Not Like…, the national attention stoking Black Truth & White Lies album appearing two years later. The multi-flavoured alternative rock of In Fine is Backtrack Lane poking even bigger and broader spotlights while being for many a potent introduction to a band which knows how to rock ‘n’ roll.
With its lack of real uniqueness more than countered by the passion and energy at its enterprising heart, In Fine is a magnet in the speakers swiftly grabbing ears with opener Fifteen Minutes. Straight away the steely riffs of Adrien Crestey and Stefan Gatti spark the appetite, the heavier dark throb of vocalist Raphael Gatti’s bass zoning in on the instincts for predatory sound. Their collusion is instantly joined by the latter’s vocal prowess; his energy in delivery matched in the sounds blossoming up around him. With keys melodically shimmering behind the forceful yet invitational web created by the foursome, Gui O’Crest’s rapier like beats are like a punctuation to each strand of temptation. The song continually expands and grows note by note, blues filtered grooves only adding to the creative prowess working on body and imagination while familiar hues, with a suggestion of Sick Puppies/3 Days Grace to them, simply accentuate the lure and adventure of the encounter.
Underground is no less of a temptation with a vine like groove instantly wrapping around ears as desert rock seeded melodic enticement brews around another great vocal beckon from Raphael Gatti. A definite Josh Homme air creeps across the songwriting and character of the track, its slightly tempestuous climate and energy as irresistible as its sonic dexterity and spicy melodies with Crestey’s lead enticement teasing with a Billy Idol hue. As its predecessor, the song might be missing majorly unique surprises as feet and spirit are keenly manipulated yet expectations are left empty by its adventure and fresh breath, qualities just as rampant within next up Perfect Motion. Though there is more restraint in its first touch than those before, its zeal to stomp is soon in charge and throwing rapacious grooves and boisterous rhythms at ears as vocals add their own catchy exploits. Once more Queens Of The Stone Age is an inescapable clue to the bold and potent sound inciting something which simply is a thick pleasure.
Breaking the Rules has a broader hard/alternative rock landscape to its sound, Stefan Gatti and Adrien Crestey blending their hook littered designs with infectious prowess as rhythms stroll and vocals roar. Ultimately the song misses matching the lofty peaks of those before it but thorough enjoyment and involvement is a given as with the blues lined inevitably catchy prowl of the following Stray. An energetic slice of pop rock with a broad smile in its air and nature plus a snarling bassline to get greedy over, the song saunters without distractions into eager ears and spirit with its lively romp.
The EP is closed off by After the Rain, another song with a sizzling blues rock nurtured spicing and instinctive contagiousness in its creative veins. Once more things are familiar yet full of an adventure with a seduction and craft hard to not be taken by. In Fine delivers rock ‘n’ roll which feeds all the wants; fun, energy, and passion all served with something extra driven by imagination.
In Fine is available now.
Pete RingMaster 30/05/2017
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