Scarlet Rebels – ‘See Through Blue’ Album Review

Few bands get better with each and every album. Scarlet Rebels are one such animal. If you thought you liked the debut…sit down and strap yourself in for a helluva ride!

Review by Paul Chesworth

Wayne Doyle, frontman with Welsh rockers Scarlet Rebels, was watching TV in the middle of the pandemic when he found his anger rising. Some faceless British politician – he can’t remember which one, mainly because they mostly look the same – was shamelessly taking credit for footballer Marcus Rashford’s successful campaign to reinstate free school meals for children during those difficult times.
“This guy was basically hijacking something someone else had done,” says Wayne, the ire still evident in his voice. “I was watching these politicians coming on the news every day, trotting out absolute bullshit and using the world’s downturn to make a profit for themselves. And no one from the other side was calling them out in it. Politics is so corrupt. It needs a kick up the arse.”

This state of affairs inspired the title track of the Llanelli five-piece’s stellar new album, ‘See Through Blue’. Bands nowadays are not really allowed to have a ‘voice’ when it comes to politics these past few years. But it has been the case for many a year, attacks against the establishment, dictators, politicians, etc. Sticking it to ‘The Man’ has been part and parcel going back to the foundations on which rock was built – The Blues. It is refreshing to see a band stick two fingers up to the Tories in 2022. I sense a kindred spirit.

The Band Scarlet Rebels shot for EarAche Records

‘I’m Alive’ is snappy and to the point, and its a decent opener, but ‘Storm’ is magic. It reminds be of a now defunct but also brilliant band called Sons Of Icarus. ‘Storm’ is as catchy as Omicron (too soon?), or catchier than a baseball clove dipped in superglue. ‘These Days’ sounds on the surface like its a nice little pop ditty, but dig beneath the surface and it’s a darker narrative – social media, the (current) Government not feeding school kids, and BLM. Mr Doyle has a message and its a barbed one with feeling and meaning, wrapped in nice pleasant riff. ‘London Story’ tells a story of a love that’s lost, a modern Romeo and Juliet, only Wayneo lives to tell the tale. It a song with a bit more oomph. ‘I Can Sleep Now’ is a belting song. It is moody and brooding to start but slowly it builds the tension into a completely different animal. By the time you get to the bridge a crescendo awaits from the twin guitars and Doyles very emotive vocals. I reckon that this is probably the best song of their career. Really, it is.

‘I Can’t Say’ opens with a choppy riff and quickly becomes a raucous pop song, but then again, what isn’t in this album, SR are a band destined for major radio play. ‘Take It’ on the surface sounds like another pleasant song, but has a much darker meaning once you delve deeper. To top it off it comes with a belting guitar solo. ‘Leave A Light On’ is a part acoustic (not a ballad) with some proper soul searching lyrics. The bloke is getting a hug next time I see him. It’s a lovely song that will speak volumes and strike a chord to many a SR fan. Wayne sings ‘Just who I am and what I’ve become, this empty vessel that sings a few songs’. You are so much more than that.

‘We’re Going Nowhere’ is a straight up rock song and as usual the chorus is instantly singable. ‘Everything Changed’ is all about the bass and drums, but again it’s also fuelled by another stonking chorus. Finally its the title track ‘See Through Blue” and Im sticking my neck out here but I think Wayne’s not a fan of Boris! Me neither. Bands have also had a voice when it comes to railroading against the ‘Establishment’, and none more so here. Probably two years after this song was written, nothing has changed and STB is still 100% on the button. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. Fuck, it is like it was only written last week!!! It is probably even more apt in this current clusterfuck of a Tory government. A leopard definitely doesn’t change its spots

There is good reason why Earache teamed up with Scarlet Rebels, and that reason is ‘See Through Blue’. Its early January 2022, and I can honestly say that STB is going to be one of my albums of the year

Its a rare these days for bands to get better with each and every album. OK this is only No.2, but if you include the V0id output then my comment is confirmation that SR are onto something. Scarlet Rebels are the best band you haven’t heard of…….yet! The way Boris is going there’s enough fuel for the fire of another couple of albums worth of material.

I urge you to give Scarlet Rebels ’See Through Blue’ a listen and support a cracking British rock band. I’ve enjoyed the ride so far and I honestly cannot wait to see where it takes them over the next couple of years.

Scarlet Rebels –
Wayne Doyle – Vocals, Guitar
Chris Jones – Lead Guitar
Josh Townshend – Guitar
Wayne ‘Pricey’ Esmonde – Bass
Gary Doyle – Drums

I’m Alive
London Story
These Days
Take You Home
I Can Sleep Now
I Can’t Say
Take It
Leave A Light On
We’re Going Nowhere
Everything Changed
See Through Blue

Links –

Album pre-order:

NWOCR – Volume One

NWOCR – Volume 1. Exceptional talent of Classic Rock bands. Whats not to like. Buy this CD, then buy the albums from the bands you like

Whats in a name? I have never been a fan of labelling bands into pigeonholes. Steven Wilson hates being banded around as ‘Prog’ is a prime example. I’ve had some right doozies over the years appearing in a press release which I am not going give further promotion here, as some are bollux.

What I do like is ‘Rock’ music, you know…. the proper stuff, not Rock as the mainstream call it when you hear ROCK WEEK on X-Factor. I like anything from Anthrax to Zebra, ACDC to ZZ Top and shit loads in between. Theres no ‘New Wave’ really, but its how you perceive Classic Rock to be. For me, I’m a bloke of a certain age and grew up at the right time for ‘Classic Rock’ – bands such as Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Rush and Lizzy. When NWOBHM was termed I was about 12 and a lot of those NWOBHM bands I would today call Classic Rock – Saxon, Maiden, Diamond Head, Leppard etc. Its music played in certain style or attitude and the feeling you derive from listening to it.

That said, I totally get what the guys at NWOCR are doing, and ANYTHING that promotes great bands, and great music, whether they are new, new-ish, or been around for a few years and lumping them into one category isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So, this is hopefully the first of NWOCRs version of ‘Now Thats What I call Music’, which back in the day ran to about 3,456,821 volumes

Across 2 CDs there are 42 of some of the finest bands you’ve heard, and haven’t heard of, but you will soon want to be stalking them across all forms of social media.

There are bands on here who for me are ahead of the curve of the rest of the bands on offer, such as Mason Hill, Scarlet Rebels, Hollowstar, These Wicked Rivers, Sons Of Liberty, Revival Black, SKAM, Collateral, Phil Campbell, Blackwater Conspiracy, and Thundermother, and its their songs that stand out for me. It could be because I have seen most of these live so far and have bought their music, so I’m partly down the road with them already and I am already a fan.

That said, out of the remainder, there’s a few new names on my list that I want to hear a lot more of – Elles Bailey who reminds me of Susan Tedeschi, Rews, and Bastette, probably because I do have a thing for female vocalists, also The New Roses and Ashen Reach.

There are only a couple of songs that don’t agree with me, but I’ll leave that up to you, the listener to decide as not everything can hit the mark 100% of the time.

As a Volume 1, this is a great starting point for all of these bands. There’s some banging music on offer, and I hope like me that once you hear some of these bands for the first time or if you’ve heard them before, that you’ll go out and support their music, buy an album and some merchandise direct from these bands, because you have all these bands jockeying for position, and it is a bloody tough time for them even before Covid set in.

I can see the TV appeal….’for every CD bought, NWOCR donates £2 to all the artists on this CD. Your £2 will keep one band member in beer for approximately 15 minutes, so please text 69627 (NWOCR) immediately’.

If you were an avid gig goer, pre-Covid, use that money to buy this CD first, and then the bands albums, you know it makes sense! And I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better for it.