Roaring out of Connecticut, Crossing Rubicon is a band tagged as hard rock but has plenty more to their potent sound as evidenced by new album No Less Than Everything. Entwining incisive strains of metal and variations of classic rock with their own modern rock ‘n’ roll adventure, the Bristol hailing band makes grabbing attention look like child’s play. Their debut full-length is the proof; twelve songs which for the main just leap out. At times they provide a familiar incitement of sound and other moments offer a rich bloom of the uniqueness openly brewing within the band. Throughout though, No Less Than Everything is a sonic charge of passion and craft which demands to be taken notice of.
Since being formed by in 2009 by vocalist Scott Anarchy (Wawrzyniak) when linking up with Pete Ahern (Red China Blue), and soon after drummer Brandi Hood, Crossing Rubicon has been through a few line-up changes whilst emerging as a generally recognised impressive live proposition. Before and since the release of first EP, In Pains Of Sleep in 2012, the five-piece has opened for and shared stages with the likes of Motley Crue, Queensrÿche, Bret Michaels, Tantric In This Moment, Nonpoint, Pop Evil, Saving Abel, Rev Theory and the list goes on. Their live presence has been a reputation building success which, with the band’s potent sound, has ensured No Less Than Everything was a highly anticipated proposition.
Straight from the off, band and release reward that eagerness. The quintet of guitarist/vocalists Zach Lambert and Jesse Near, bassist/vocalist and former All That Remains member Jeanne Sagan, and the pair of Anarchy and Hood, immediately entice ears with Tomorrow Never Comes. Flames of guitar provide the first inviting bait; they quickly joined by punchy beats and a throaty bassline, which in turn welcome the full and quickly impressing tones of Anarchy. Hitting its stride, the thrash tinted, riff driven persuasion has body and appetite hooked, with the imagination gripped by the front man’s rich vocals and emotions grabbed by the great band provided backing vocals and simply the virulent contagion flowing through the opener.
A great start is pushed on again by the outstanding Unhinged. Its initial sonic shimmer holds a sinister air which relaxes as the vocals come forward, though the gait and nature of the song remains predatory if skilfully restrained. A mix of vocals, with presumably Sagan one half of the two prong dark temptation alongside Anarchy, adds to the track’s intimidating seduction. It is enthralling stuff which blossoms further as spirals of guitar shared melodic enterprise wraps prowling rhythms, their magnetic alignment ridden by the increasing strength of the fiercely alluring vocals.
Never Again has the hard task of following the great encounter, living up to the demands from its initial lead of Hood’s heavily scything swings before casting its own predacious stalking of the senses. Enticing melodic suggestiveness soon infests the track, though its instincts remain grouchily confrontational before the mellower but still fiery charms of The Fallen and Bittersweet Day step forward. For personal tastes, neither can match up to their predecessors, though both leaves ears involved and satisfaction lively with their accomplished hard rock croon and classic rock blaze respectively.
Grooves create a web of tempting within Cut Deep next, the band weaving alternative metal and stoner-esque spices into the song’s pungent and devilish confrontation of variety soaked rock ‘n’ roll whilst with Who’s Gonna Save You, with a gorgeous growl of bass leading the way, they are back sizing up the listener with a predatory intent. This comes with venomous riffs which crawl through ears and the stirring up of attitude loaded revelry by the ever enjoyable vocals. As for the rhythms, they simply stalk the listener. The track is another major favourite to emerge, especially with the subsequent addition of an exotic mystique courtesy of the guitars, and another of a number of particular pinnacles across No Less Than Everything.
Crossing Rubicon continue to reveal diversity in sound and imagination within the release. Violet Carson reveals itself a track which is almost ritualistic in its dark character and emotive fire whilst Reason to Beg is a slice of sinew sculpted rock ‘n’ roll entangled in searing strands of sonic tenacity and uncompromising attitude, in word and emotion. It would be fair to say that the songs, as the album, create something fresh and fascinating from the use of recognisable flavours on familiar templates at times, but invigorating and enticing it ultimately is as proven again by the classic rock infused, plaintive rumble of Do We Not Bleed and straight after, the similarly woven and magnetic I’m Here. Neither of the pair quite lives up to the major high points of the release, but both potently please before Return to Atlantis brings the album to a close of rich sonic enterprise upon an eighties bred melodic rock landscape.
The track provides an increasingly impressing album with a rich climax summing up all the qualities and infectiousness of the Crossing Rubicon sound and imagination. As the band’s sound evolves, expectations are of bigger and bolder things to build on, what is right now, a thoroughly enjoyable adventure and a thick nudge on the broadest attention, No Less Than Everything.
No Less Than Everything is out now via Pavement Entertainment through most online stores and @ https://crossing-rubicon.bandcamp.com/releases
Pete RingMaster 28/02/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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