The ‘medicinal’ value of the sound within Take The Pill certainly and potently represents its title, the new album from UK rockers Theia, a rousing feel good remedy of attitude loaded rock ‘n’ roll sure to energise any day of unenthused emotions. It vociferously grumbles, tenaciously rumbles, and unleashes ten hungrily blazing roars for one highly enjoyable snarl within the landscape of this year’s British rock scene. Pushing boundaries and forging unfamiliar territories may not be the biggest element of the Burton Upon Trent trio’s debut full-length, but in providing a furiously thrilling and enlivening rock ‘n’ roll, Take The Pill is nothing less than a hammering success.
Formed towards the start of 2012 and drawing on inspirations from the likes of Buckcherry, Winterville, Alter Bridge, and Black Label Society for their uncompromising, metal infused hard rock, Theia has swiftly and increasingly over these past three or so years, gained a strong following and acclaimed reputation for their voracious rock sound whether live or on releases. 2014 saw the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Kyle Lamley, drummer John Tolley, and bassist Paul Edwards come together and the band’s single Whoop-Dee-F***ing-Doo! whip up fresh and eager attention, building on that gained by earlier EPs, itself eclipsed by recent single Ride On. Now Take The Pill shows that the taste of the band’s first album they gave was rich but also only half the story, and easy to expect their success to be easily surpassed by the band’s tremendous new release.
Take The Pill comes to life with opener We’re Alive, it sauntering in on a melodic coaxing alongside a boozy sonic caress, both guitar spawn and thickly enticing. They continue to entice with their intoxicating lures whilst in the background there is a sense of something fiercer brewing, this eventually honed and emerging as an ear entwining groove that instantly hits the instincts and eager swing of the body. As with all subsequent tracks, there is a just as immediate familiarity to the flavours woven into the song but also freshness and virulence which dictates the way thoughts, appetite, and pleasure go.
With fine guitar craft and a great vocal delivery from Lamley, backed by a great rhythmic shuffle from Tolley, the song is a great anthem to start things off with From The Streets backing its potency with its own rock ‘n’ roll stroll wrapped in spicy blues hued grooves, broad vocal roars, and enjoyable imagination in the tapestry of recognisable and fresh spices. Keeping ears and neck muscles keenly involved, the song passes its infectious baton onto Society On Mute, an impassioned and muscular canter rippling with metallic riffs and thumping beats alongside a lure of bass from Edwards which borders on the carnivorous in tone. Breezes of some of those earlier inspirations are an open spicing too as also the individual craft and invention which colludes to create a track that stomps and atmospherically seduces throughout its fiery presence.
Video Memories needs barely a handful of seconds to grip ears and an already bred hunger with its growling bassline and grizzled riffs, their antagonism perfectly tempered by the melodic flames and vocal harmonies colouring the track. It is stirring stuff but quickly overshadowed by the mighty Anybody Else, a swagger of southern rock equipped with the juiciest of grooving and another bestial bass sound cast by Edwards. Vocally too, the song is a mix of stylish antagonism and anthemic adventure which at times flirts with prime Pantera bait, a great tempting emulated again later in the album once Electric Witness first unveils its addictive and magnetic hard rock croon, its every element again coming together in superb creative unity. It is a track which musically gets more crotchety around melodically enticing vocals, another string to its already persuasive bow that only hits the target before the outstanding Overthrown springs another open and pleasing Pantera-esque hook within its contagious endeavour.
Take The Pill is completely in total control by this point, keen ears backed by greed for the high energy and thickly convincing adventure of the band’s sound. The album increasingly becomes more compelling as each song passes through ears into the imagination, the next up Some Days ensuring that does not change, its voracious heart and attack pure fire breathing rock ‘n’ roll; a quality similarly running through the core of Ride On and closing stomp Whoop-Dee-Fucking-Doo!
The first of the pair merges dirtily fuzzy riffs and throaty predation from the bass with the clipping of ears by Tolley’s persistent rapier swings, all imposing yet enthralling traits framing a web of infection driven by winy grooves and sonic imagination. Its successor just rocks like a dog in heat, the finest asset any slab of rock ‘n’ roll can have in our view and again grooves, hooks, and enterprise create a tasty tempting bringing the sinew swinging party to an exhaustive close.
After recent singles, we had strong hopes for Take The Pill but it still took ears and expectations by surprise, emerging as a bigger, bolder, and far more creatively boisterous incitement, even those lead songs coming over taller and broader in their bellows. Ok Theia might not be breaking moulds with Take The Pill but rock pleasure does not come much more captivating and enjoyable as this.
Take The Pill is out now on CD @ http://theiauk.com/shop/ and through most online stores digitally and physically.
Pete Ringmaster 26/10/215
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