It is hard to think of too many bands which perfectly sum up their spirit, energy and intent as well as sound through name and the title of their debut album. The Alive certainly do so with their moniker and first full-length, We are Rock and Roll, its title echoing simply what the band does, create instinctive rock ‘n’ roll and there is no denying it was an encounter which truly got under the skin.
Leaping out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, The Alive consists of vocalist/guitarist Taylor Glasgow, guitarist David Bateman, bassist Curtis Kennedy, and drummer Tracy Duty. From the off the quartet “knew they wanted to create fun, high energy music that you could feel deep in your bones and shake your soul making you stomp your hands and clap your feet before you even knew you were.” Additionally, according to the album’s press release, the band equally “wanted to write music that pays tribute to their influences.” We are Rock and Roll proves their success at both. The latter aim has maybe led to the band’s sound not being the most unique but it is as fresh and rousing as a hurricane and often hits with the same impact.
Signing with Eternal Sound Records this past February for the release of their Kyle Simpson produced debut, The Alive immediately set the scene and tone with album opener This Is Rock And Roll. The groove cast by the bass to set things off is pure intimation of things to come and instantly has hips swinging. A sonic trespass of guitar triggers the track’s eager stroll, Glasgow’s potent vocals quickly adding to the boisterousness flooding ears. Blues hues only add to the temptation, a slice of creative nagging which had the body bouncing and vocal chords tuning up in no time.
The excellent start only continues through the following Where Are My Animals, the track alternative rock with a classic rock nature and equally as manipulative as its predecessor. Duty’s rumbling rhythms drive song and reactions as guitar and bass incite and encourage further participation. Glasgow’s vocals again impress and incite involvement, the track captivatingly galvanic rock ’n’ roll.
If I Could Save You and Its Hard Enough So Why Do You Wanna Be Alone Tonight quickly shows that The Alive can also write tracks with calmer control and thicker emotion. Another easy to devour offering, the first of the two certainly has an eager swing to its gait and energy in its heart but reined in with enterprise which does not defuse its inherent catchiness. A slight Sick Puppies scent does it no harm either while the second is an evocative ballad which grew more compelling by the listen if without quite reaching the heights of its earlier companions.
Through the melodic canter of Mad World and the tenacious All The Way To Babylon enjoyment is only concentrated, both tracks the kind of contagion which welcomingly lingers. Even so each is eclipsed by the darker prowl of All My Friends Are Vampires, a hard rock infused proposal with a predacious edge to its emotive declaration.
While next up Lemon Crush could not evoke the same lusty reactions as other songs, it had the body bouncing and ears firmly keen in its lure before Perfect Plastic brought yet another flavour to the release with its grungy holler. Winding around ears with its rich grooves as a dirty lining merges with the flames of keys, the track seductively saunters but all the time intimating a volatility which never escapes but magnetically simmers across the excellent track.
Closing with firstly the blues rock kissed croon of City In The Sky and finally a cover of Aerosmith track Dream On as a bonus, both songs leaving thick satisfaction in their wake, We are Rock n Roll is one of those encounters so easy to spend time with and to give plenty to whilst announcing The Alive as a rather promising proposition on the international rock scene.
We are Rock and Roll is out now via Eternal Sound Records across most major online stores.
Pete RingMaster 25/09/2018
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