Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Yes, ‘All The Way‘ the opening track of Northern Ireland’s Screaming Eagles‘ debut ‘From The Flames‘ does sound rather like AC/DC. Truth be told, they shouldn’t have opened the record with it (as good as it is!) as the rest of the album then has to prove that they are so much more than just AC/DC and Airbourne sound-a-likes.
The good news? They prove their point and then some, with an album full of top quality diamond-tipped classic hard-rock.
Unless you’ve been locked in a room with Justin Bieber for the last 6 months, you may well have come across Screaming Eagles – ‘Rock N Roll Soul‘ was featured on a recent Classic Rock cover CD, and they’ve taken the final slot at this years Hard Rock Hell VII by slaying all before them at the HRH Highway to Hell contest up in Glasgow – pipping the likes of Baleful Creed, Blue Origin, Defy All Reason and Fireroad to the post.
‘From The Flames‘ is an absolute pleasure to listen to for someone of a certain generation who lived through the Metal 80s, the Grunge 90’s and the refined-rock 00s – there’s plenty of influences (almost) seamlessly incorporated into the wall of rock ‘n’ roll including Black Stone Cherry, Thunder, Faith no More, Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.
Second track ‘Down The River‘ is a sort of guilty half-way house. The first lick says Airbourne… but Screaming Eagles then bring so much more to the party that by the time you start comparisons to The Union and The Answer, they’ve allowed their sound to define it’s own groove, which just builds and builds track after track.
‘Hungry for More‘ tips it’s southern tinged stetson to Black Stone Cherry and again (vocally) The Union’s Pete Shoulder before ‘Fight The Fire‘ takes a VR era Slash style riff and rips it a new one. ‘Devil in The Dust‘ (possibly the albums greatest track) manages with some dexterity to take a Faith No More lick everyone will recognise and make a modern hard rock song with it… the lead guitar breaks are stunning as this song deserves play after play at maximum volume.
‘Rock N Roll Soul‘ does slip back into Airbourne territory, but by now you frankly don’t give a sh*t as Screaming Eagles have you by the dangly bits and as ‘One Man Revolution‘ takes a darker turn you’re hooked for good.
‘Blood‘ and closer ‘Take My Time‘ do a fine job of rounding off the album, with the added twist of a Sabbath style intro to the final song just for good measure!
Based on this debut, Screaming Eagles (Adrian McAleenan – Guitar, Chris Fry – vocals, Ryan Lilly – Bass and Kyle Cruikshank – Drums) will be around for a long time to come, and if they can further define their own sound then who knows how far they could take their brand of hard hitting RnR. TBFM will be watching with a keen eye… and ringing ears!