10:15 PM EDT, August 12, 2013
A couple months back I had the pleasure of taking in the Clutch/Orange Goblin tour that hit New Haven. Two of my favorite (for lack of a better term) stoner rock bands? Yes, please. Getting to the venue early to interview Orange Goblin left me with a ton of time on my hands. Two opening bands on this tour? I guess so. First up was a band I had never heard of...Damn, missed their name...wait a minute these guys are pretty good. No, these guys kick immense amounts of ass. Who is this?!? Scorpion Child? Yes, please.
After about 30 minutes they had left those few of us who showed up early enough to witness it in a state of shock. Electric. Heavy. A throwback to the days when rock stars were gods amongst men and the axes they wielded slayed many maidens and dudes alike yet in different ways. Fast forward to the heat of the summer and an opening slot on the Mayhem Festival - a traveling circus that annually pits the occasional gem amongst the Falses. Could they do it again? In front of a crowd that was probably even more ignorant to their existence? Yes, yes they could. On a makeshift stage under a tent where only the first three rows of people could see the madness Scorpion Child dominated...and after a short time a pit opened...on a concrete concourse. Get kids to pit is one thing. Getting them to pit where the dangers of bodily harm are clearly exasperated is another story altogether.
But could they translate to disc? I've seen a million bands leave the essence of their live set on the studio floor and we fans are left with a flacid reminder of what could have been. One listen to Scorpion Child's self-titled, debut album will tell you all you need to know The Gods of Rock have smiled upon this band in ways that most bands can only dream of.
The blues-based tension of early Led Zeppelin, the sheer density of Blue Cheer, the progressive leanings of Deep Purple and the dingy mania of Black Sabbath are all present here. Tracks like "Kings Highway", "Polygon of Eyes" and "Liquor" are some of the best rock n' roll songs you're going to hear this year and the entire album as a whole doesn't have a weak track amongst the bunch.
Vocalist Aryn Jonathan Black is a magnificent cross between Robert Plant and Rainbow-era Dio in his delivery (the former) and range (the latter). Guitar duo Chris Cowart and Thomas "The Mole" Frank are Rock's newest best guitar duo tearing off riffs so catchy you'll be humming them to yourself in the bathroom mirror the next morning. The rhythm section of bassist Shaun Avants and drummer Shawn Alvear do more than just keep the timing pummeling the back of your brain like a herd of cattle making a break for freedom at the slaughterhouse.
This is a pristine effort that unfortunately may go largely ignored by all non-metalheads because "rock" radio in the U.S. doesn't actually play "rock" anymore. Their loss. Scorpion Child is now available through Nuclear Blast Records. Check out clips of each track over at their Facebook page or check out the lyric videos for "Polygon of Eyes" and "Liquor" on Youtube.
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