Northern Ireland’s Screaming Eagles are a very easy band to get into. Trading exclusively in straightforward, old-fashioned rock music full of slick melodies and booming vocals, they’re a group that would go down just as well at Glastonbury as at Wacken Open Air.
Each of the ten tracks that comprise their second album ‘Stand Up And Be Counted’ has potential as a single, there are catchy hooks all over the place and there’s nothing that’s likely to offend anyone’s parents or Church group. They’re not very cool and the fashion conscious music fan is unlikely to be swayed, but if you don’t give a damn about trends then there’s no reason not to enjoy this.
‘Bow Down To The Blues’ for example is a cheerfully cheesy anthem about making deals with the devil in the New Orleans delta. It’s a love letter to the origins of rock music with plenty of Clapton-esque guitar riffs thrown in and would have belonged in your dad’s record collection if it had only been written a few decades earlier. ‘Chase You Down’ meanwhile opens with the kind of guitar playing that is only found on instructional videos performed by fifty year old men with bad perms, but it rocks. It’s an upbeat little number that speaks of good times and fast liquor, the fact it’s a bit corny only adds to the appeal. In fact they’re enjoying themselves so much they even make war and death sound like a party.
The band have named themselves after the 101st US Airborne Division and one of the later songs revolves around them, yet the vibe still remains positive in the foxholes as shells rain down. There’s even a track about rock stars dying young but there’s not a maudlin moment to be had, just glass raising tributes to living in the fast lane. It’s the exact antithesis of emo and while they’ll never be the soundtrack to a break-up, it’s blatantly obvious they wouldn’t want to be. In fact aside from the slight misstep of ‘Breaking All The Rules’ where they ramp the cheese up a notch too far, there’s not much criticism to make. Granted, it would only take a few missteps for them to wind up on the soundtrack to the animated Transformers movie, but if you’re sick of hardcore, djent, nu-metal, thrash, death and just want some traditionally minded, blues-inflected rock with songs about fighting then this’ll be right up your street. It’s rare to find a band that actually makes you want to go to a Nascar event and have a barbecue in the parking lot, but here we are.
..if you’re sick of hardcore, djent, nu-metal, thrash, death and just want some traditionally minded, blues-inflected rock with songs about fighting then this’ll be right up your street. It’s rare to find a band that actually makes you want to go to a Nascar event and have a barbecue in the parking lot, but here we are.