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.
‘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
Take You Home
I Can Sleep Now
I Can’t Say
Leave A Light On
We’re Going Nowhere
See Through Blue
Album pre-order: https://earache.com/scarletrebels