The promo received tagged Raised by Wolves as set in the hard rock genre but it took little time to prove much more diverse and ambitious than that suggests, and also that it is one aggressively enjoyable encounter.
Raised by Wolves is the first of two EPs from Servant Leader, the solo project of Leigh Oates (vocalist of Xilla, Soldierfield, Rise To Addiction and Ninedenine). Offering five ear grabbing tracks, it is boldly fertile with a sound as much grunge and metal as it is rock bred. It makes for a potent and powerful proposition which swiftly had ears gripped through EP opener Daybreak.
Initially the first track rhythmically entices, from a distance shaping intrigue until a few seconds later it stands eye to eye with the senses and uncages its full hungry presence. As those rhythms continue to bite, grooves and melodic enticement is woven around the distinctive and ever magnetic tones of Oates. With keys just as enterprisingly involved and hooks unleashed with almost feral intent, the track proved immediate captivation and only tightened its hold with melodic and harmonic dexterity, a Soundgarden meets Skyscraper scenting around its worldly observation extra irresistibility.
Boundaries quickly follows, a roar erupting from its first breath in voice and sound to instantly engage keen attention. With boisterous energy, eager rhythms set the tone of its contagion, guitars and bass aligning in suggestive enterprise as Oates ignites the air with his resourceful tones. Again there is a certain grunge nurtured graining to its melodic rock bred body, the subsequent melody spun twists virulent captivation in nothing but riveting enticement.
Immediately August Parade stamped its authority on attention, the melodic twang of guitar soon followed by the swing of heavy beats and the richer wiry lures escaping guitars as vocals set their insightful contemplation within an Alice in Chains-esque sunset of sound and vibrancy. As its predecessor, the track sets a striking moment within the EP, success quickly emulated by next up Siamese with its rousing and voracious metal steeled rock ‘n’ roll. At times melodic winds temper the tempest but only to escalate the song’s addictive nature and imagination, the later a perpetually evolving treat in a similarly twisting body.
Raised by Wolves closes out with That Girl, a track which maybe has a touch of Stone Temple Pilots to it but proves as individual and rousing as those before it. By now it was proving no surprise that Oates was embroiling a host of varied flavours in his invention wolfish and sound whilst entangling his esurient tones sounds and no surprise that again ears were feasting on a moment in time which left a lingering and enterprising mark on thoughts and a greedy appetite for more which hopefully will soon come our way courtesy of the now highly anticipated Part 2.
Raised by Wolves – Part 1 is available now.
Pete RingMaster 26/03/2020
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