Friday, 2 August 2013

Lawless - Rock Savage (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Metal / Melodic Rock
Label - Escape Records

Track listing:

01. Heavy Metal Heaven

02. Black Widow Ladies
03. F.O.A.D.
04. Misery
05. SOS
06. Rock n Roll City
07. Step In
08. Scream
09. Pretender
10. Where Heroes Fall
11. Metal Time

Lawless are a new band founded by veterans from the UK scene.
Featuring Neil Ogden who has been hitting the skins in cult legends Demon since 2002 and his more recent bandmate there Paul Hume (vocals, guitar), plus Persian Risk guitarist Howie G and bassist Josh Williams (Headrush), they have created a dynamic, crisp-sounding rockin' album.
At first glance, you could suspect that Lawless plays heavy metal or NWOBHM due the guy's pedegree, the cover artwork and some track titles here: "Heavy Metal Heaven" or "Metal Time" for instance.
Well, not at all. "Rock Savage" is pure '80s British Melodic Hard Rock with some melodious hard 'n heavy touches but you know, what was considered 'heavy' in the eighties, nowadays it's just hard rock.
This is certainly old school MHR with a fantastic modern production, melodic and catchy choruses together with lots of big riffs and sweet solos from Howie G (his sound set is truly amazing). Hume’s vocals are ideally suited to the style of music (although in my honest opinion they are the weakest link here, I would have loved them to have recruited Demons Dave Hill to handle the vocal duties!), and the rhythm section is fat and bombastic at places.
Groovy, contagious cuts like "SOS", "Scream", "Rock 'n' Roll City" or the Skin (UK Rockers) sounding "Step In" are arena-ready quality anthems, the driving "Heavy Metal Heaven" is bloody melodious akin early Thunder, and "F.O.A.D." puts the pedal to the metal a bit, but the chorus is really commercial.
"Black Widow Ladies"  is a Whitesnake-esque mid tempo monster, there's soaring melodies on the punchy-razor "Misery", then "Pretender" rocks with a Pretty Maids vibe enriched by great harmony vocals and punctuating riffs.
"Where Heroes Fall" is a high class ballad never losing the band's muscular approach and showcasing Hume's more emotional side (he's a solid singer for sure), before closer "Metal Time", an ode to the genre, begins as an amusing Twisted Sister joke developing into a Y&T sounding rocker packed with melting riffs and terrific solos all over. Another favorite of mine.
"Rock Savage" is a fun, catchy, and extremely effective Melodic Hard Rock recording in a typical British style, just as it should be
All songs are instantly likeable, focused on catchy vocal melodies backed by soaring harmonies and meaty riffs, all driven by pounding bass lines and a thumping drum work. The sound is awesomely polished helped by a crisp production and a superb mix (listen with headphones and then tell me).

Surprisingly killer debut by Lawless.

Highly Recommended

Rating 9/10

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