When this is released in August, I can’t believe that out would have been 18 months since I saw Daylight Robbery play HRH AOR at Prestatyn. Jesus where has the time gone. Especially now that the chance of gigs as they were are now a distant thing of the past. It almost feels like the aftermath of a Zombie movie or a dystopian future. Anyway, for HRH we heard that Tony Nicholl was no longer in attendance and that no one was being brought in. Rob ‘AOR’ Evans trumped for Mark Carleton, I however edged towards Colin Murdoch and like Trading Places we placed a bet for the princely sum of one pound! Quell surprise, it was both of them, and it made for a pleasant change and a cool dynamic. Fast forward 16 months and I was very keen to hear how the new album would sound. Well, dear reader, its sounds HEAVIER which is no bad thing in my book.
‘Into The Shadow’ sounds straight out of a Scandi Noir murder thriller before it dramatically builds a tension into ‘The Enemy Within’. DR have ripped up the rule book and gone big and extravagant at every turn, throwing everything they have into it, its Rainbow and Avantasia rolled into one and it gallops along when it could plod. It’s a combination of all the good bands I like form the 70s and 80s. The right mix of yeas, searing guitars and cracking harmonies. Col and Mark share vocals on ‘Digital Preacher’, a song about the state of affairs in the US I assume, and the mix of both guys vocals adds to the sound, and I like the contrast they both bring to the song. I’m reminded of Burn era Deep Purple where Carelton’s guitar both shares centre stage and duels his solos with the organ/keyboards. Two songs in and I have to quote that great sage Mike Reno, as ‘Im loving every minute of it’.
‘House Of Pain’ has a riff that’s straight out of 1980s Sunset Strip, and rips it up. ‘The Violence Of Lies’ goes for a big sound and it pays off. Part Queensryche, part (insert fave 80s hair metal maestro here), I’ll go for Warren De Martini. At 8 mins long it’s not dwelling and there’s enough contrast to keep you entertained. ‘Waiting For Tomorrow’ is a faster paced number. Col steps up to the mic for his first of two solo duties for the lighter, almost a ballad in ‘Alone In The Rain’ and he stands toe to toe with Mark with his vocals. Fans of Magnum and Dante Fox would like this one. It’s the closest they come to their previous album. The other song Col takes over is ‘The Time To Choose’ and again is more on the melodic side of heavy for DR. It still manages to mis it up a bit and its draws me towards Bruce Hornsby. ’Peace Of Me’ sort of left me wanting more, but the guitar solo makes up for any shortcomings I have. Finally it’s onto the rifftastic ‘Within’. Screeching synths, frenetic guitar work and pounding bass and drums is a fine way to round off any album.
All of the songs have a hefty timescale with only 3 weighing in at less than six minutes. However, none of then feel laboured when listening to them, as it could have easily gone the other way. The approach not to replace Nicholl has proven to be a worthy one. With Mark Carelton’s vocals handling the more aggressive songs, and Colin Murdochs vocals suiting the melodic numbers, so they have options aplenty and resist being too one dimensional. Throw in a hammond (which they have) and I’m a happy bunny.
DR have more than thrown the kitchen sink at The Enemy Within. Fuck, based on the size of the ambition, it’s the sink, washing machine, fridge and tumble dryer. ‘The Enemy Within’ is for people like me who grew up on the classic diet of bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Magnum, and a bit of hair metal, to boot.
After Tony Nicholl left I honestly thought they were fucked, but the lads have dusted themselves off, knuckled down and produced the best album of their career (so far). I hope it does well for them as they fully deserve it to. I really look forward to what’s next. If we all live long enough that is….
Daylight Robbery are
Mark Carleton – Guitars, Vocals
Colin Murdoch – Bass, Vocals
Rob Chivers – Drums
George Everleigh – Keyboards
Into The Shadow
House of Pain
The Violence Of Lies
Waiting For Tomorrow
Alone In The Rain
Peace Of Me
The Time To Choose
Twitter – @DAYLIGHTROBBERS