Their new album might just declare The Fall Of Man but with eight slices of inventively rousing rock ‘n’ roll it also announces the rise of Rat Face Lewey.
The London based alt-rockers have certainly felt praise and support since emerging nine years back but with their latest offering it is easy to suggest that the British trio could now spark major attention. East Midlands hailing, Rat Face Lewey was formed by brothers, vocalist/guitarist Jonny and bassist Mav with Gregg on drums. Their sound rose on the inspirations of bands such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and The Manic Street Preachers and in 2013 formed a well-received debut album in the shape of Wonder Before Mess, a number of its tracks finding a place and longevity on playlists throughout the globe. A couple of Matthew Hyde produced singles in Dead in the Ground and Digital Prison two years later only enhanced the band’s reputation and rise up the ranks of the British rock scene, a position under the threat of far loftier heights through the ear gripping holler of The Fall Of Man.
The album opens up with Tell Your Friends About Me and a combined vocal introduction which had ears on keen alert before earthy riffs and punchy rhythms took a firm hold. Swiftly a hard rock scented amble breaks free as vocals continue to impress, eager catchiness soaking every wire from the guitar and each controlled yet boisterous rhythm. Imagination equally is at potent play as the song twists and turns with magnetic enterprise revealing that the band’s sound has moved far away from those early influences to find its own predominate identity though at times there is a great Terrorvision like whiff to it.
As strong and stirring as it is, the first track is quickly eclipsed by its successor. Comfortable entices with an engaging guitar beckoning which soon sparks a bouncing punk ‘n’ roll stroll with a Green Day-esque hue to its infection. Contagious in every essence, the track incited mutual spirit and bounce before The Pirate Song washed up on the shores of temptation, a guitar shimmer springing a shapely melody which in turn ignites a rapacious hook equipped rock canter. Continued animation in that hookery combined with anthemic vocal calls singular and united shape our favourite moment within the album, its shanty like swing the froth to its creative ale.
Replaced is next up, another calm but resourceful thread of guitar ensuring close attention confirmed by Jonny’s voice before being surrounded by a larger web of stirring sound. Mav’s bass again provides a delicious gnarly tone to its throaty lines whilst all the while the song shares unpredictable twists and tenacious turns to prove a rival for that best moment choice as too does its successor, Fight My Noose, thanks to the best opening to a track on the album. Straight away it nagged at the senses, guitar and bass stirring instincts with their united persistence. As the song continued to expand there is no lessening of its potency and manipulation, a punk breeding firing up song and passions alike.
The album’s title track follows, prowling with feral breath even as harmonies and melodies wrap its untamed heart. Defiance and angst soak its every note and syllable, its enraged roars as gripping as its melodic and sonic adventure.
The final pair of This Turtle and Belong to Yourself equally reveals additional shades to the band’s sound. The first is a contagious slab of punk ‘n’ roll bordering on pop virulent but hungrily muscular with the second a fire of melodic and infectious energy as composed as it is impassioned and imaginatively crafted. While maybe not as commanding as those before it, it makes for a fine end to a richly enjoyable and accomplished release which should put Rat Face Lewey firmly on the map.
The Fall of Man is released Sept 6th.
Pete RingMaster 06/09/2019
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