SCORPION CHILD are an intriguing band with a sound that hails back to the sound of their 1970s forefathers, that at the same time generates an air of nostalgia for the sounds of old but adding a level of newness of their own. For those that are unfamiliar with them, they’re a bluesy hard rock sounding band that come from Texas, and currently have an EP and two albums under their belt in the form of their self titled debut, and their new album Acid Roulette. Their debut alone signed them a deal with Nuclear Blast and even tours with CLUTCH and ORANGE GOBLIN, adding as a perfectly logical and well fitting addition to their tours.
However, it hasn’t been plain sailing for them by any sense when they lost core band members which would have otherwise been their undoing. Nevertheless, they weathered the storm with new line up, with Alec Caballero Padron on bass, Christopher Jay Cowart on guitars, Jon Rice on drums, Aaron John Vincent on keys, and Aryn Jonathan Black on vocals.
What is immediately apparent on first spin of this album is the whole grab bag of different 1970s influences that immediately pour fourth from the speakers. The opening track She Sings Kill has a brilliantly shimmering vibe of LED ZEPPELIN having a jam session with classic Southern Blues and Harmony Companion era BLACK CROWES; underpinned with a DEEP PURPLE styled stomp to the proceedings. It has to be said that they have certainly honed their musicianship considerably since their debut album.
Reapers Danse in the live setting will wow the crowds, due to having a noticeable NWOBHM guitar pace that will have the listener’s interest ignited and wishing to dig around further into what influenced their sound (notably SAXON and early IRON MAIDEN); while My Woman In Black brings glam rock influences to the table, with Aryn’s vocals bring to mind a Robert Plant-esque style offsetting the whole mix perfectly. What is commendable, is that SCORPION CHILD aren’t necessarily all about a full on stomp, and take paths into a more ethereal stoner direction with Acid Roulette – peppered with a layer of Jon Lord-esque vintage Moog keys courtesy of Aaron balancing the mix perfectly, and Alec’s bass guitar work being the final layer on an already perfect cake.
Survives is a particularly haunting track, which perfectly demonstrates the vocal abilities of Aryn – a tune that is wrenched with heartfelt emotion which will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. A track such as this, in this style of album is an important and valuable showcase, as some bands are in danger of disguising the vocalists shortcomings via overcompensation of other musicians in the mix. As a band that specialises in a sound harking back to 1970s blusey rock and metal like SCORPION CHILD, have completely nailed an important test for the critical listener.
Overall, SCORPION CHILD have produced a blinder of an album with Acid Roulette. In essence, this album will sit by the 1970s classics, and modern contemporaries such as ORANGE GOBLIN and MONSTER MAGNET perfectly in your collection. They nail the style so perfectly, without borrowing heavily from their forefathers and sounding like an out and out pastiche of far superior artists. This is something very worthy of note, and is essential listening.
Acid Roulette is set for release on June 10th via Nuclear Blast Records.
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