There are few guarantees in music but one thing you can be sure of is having a good time with anything from UK rockers Theia, a theory proven yet again with the band’s new album Back In Line. It is not just another rousing outing with the Burton upon Trent trio though; everything about it is bigger and bolder than anything from the band, and bursting to unleash nothing less than prime meat rock ‘n’ roll.
Since emerging in 2012, Theia has laid a boisterous hand and infectious imagination on hard rock through a rousing live presence and some attention grabbing, pleasure raising releases. The success of their first two potential loaded EPs in 2013, Theia I and II, was clearly eclipsed by the potency and impact of debut album Take The Pill two years later. It was an encounter slamming the band on the national heavy rock map with a bang. Now broader horizons are in their sights with Back In Line, the album simply one of the most virulently infectious and robustly rousing encounters of recent times from a band openly raising their game on songwriting, craft, and anthemic prowess.
With drummer Jake Dalton linking up with band founders in lead vocalist/guitarist Kyle Lamley and bassist/vocalist Paul Edwards in 2016, Theia quickly reveal the new maturity and creative zeal in their music within the album’s first full track which follows the opening atmospheric intro of Keezheekoni. Scenic within a brooding southern air, its suggestive instrumental coaxes ears into the waiting jaws of My Poison. Instantly rhythms slam down their muscular intent as a Billy Talent spiced riff taunts an already keen imagination. The snarling tone of Edwards’ bass is a stirring predator within the growing hard rock blaze of the track, always there adding a threat as Lamley’s guitars lays down fiery melodic flames and vocals lead a just as swiftly imposed catchiness where familiar and fresh hues unite within a resourceful roar.
Next up Whiskey Business is a barroom romp shaped by melodic liquor and jabbing beats as vocals add their own boisterous antics. There is a touch of Extreme to the song especially in its funkier groove woven moments, virulent turns far too easy to get involved with to avoid addiction before the album’s title track prowls with an eager swagger through ears. Riffs and rhythms stalk with a contagious smile to their trespass, Lamley’s melodic vocals just as inviting as the tenacious smoulder of the Black Spiders scented song sears and seduces the senses with increasing dexterity and rigour.
The outstanding Just Go has a calmer air initially, its eighties hued climate still punched through by hungry rhythms before the fire in the song’s belly inflames subsequent melodies, wiry grooves, and the whiff of pop punk which colludes with the song’s hard rock breeding. Carrying another irresistible, incendiary chorus, the track hits the spot with relish while its successor Signed Sealed Cemented brings a similar template of sound before creating its own southern tainted rock ‘n’ roll fuelled proposal.
The swinging exploits of following Paper The House has the body back on its feet, though it never has a moment to sit across Back In Line up to this point to be honest; the track brewing up another instinctively infectious captivation with lithe grooves, throbbing veins, and invention moulded twists with inescapable temptation. The song is superb, a dirty little temptress no man, woman, or hound could resist.
The melodic croon of Sparkplug comes next, its acoustic stroking of the senses the canvas for Lamley’s impressing vocals and the tease of drama sharing strings. Sharing the band’s inspirations in artists such as Guns N’ Roses and Buckcherry, the track easily captures the imagination, only blossoming into greater persuasion with every passing minute before the acoustic balladry of Home hugs ears. Though missing the richer inventive sparks of its predecessor, the song simply enthrals, growing more essential with every listen.
Sharing a more intensive and stormier evolution of the climate in the album’s intro, Afterglow emotionally and in tone murmurs and groans before hitting its irritable rock ‘n’ roll stride where again sinewy grooves, rapacious riffs, and lead loaded rhythms demand attention; all coming with another tide of infectiousness which, as vocals anthemically entice, tempers their volatility superbly.
It is a fine end to a release impossible to ignore, get out of the head, and to find any restraint in heartily enthusing about. It is fair to say that rock ‘n roll is safe in the hands of bands like Theia and relishing the adventure certainly Back In Line offers.
Back In Line is out now through WDFD Records.
15th July – Uttoxeter Rocks, Uttoxeter
21st July – Collop Gate Farm, Rochdale
22nd July – BurtonFest, Burton Upon Trent (afternoon)
22nd July – Sempiternal Warm-up, Cannock (evening)
26th August – Rockwich Unplugged, Northwich
27th August – Giff-fest, Wolverhampton
2nd September – B2, Norwich
3rd September – The Black Heart, London
8th September – The Hut, Corby
9th September – The Station, Cannock
Pete RingMaster 05/07/2017
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