Review: Screaming For Scarlet – Five Lights

Screaming For Scarlet (who have a very snazzy website for a free one), hail from the South much like most things fantastic these days and have been described as “post-punk”, a genre they’re not entirely sure of themselves. They’ve also previously been matched up to heavyweights Fightstar and Hell Is For Heroes and have passed on their single Five Lights and a couple of demos for our delectation.

The single opens with the eponymous track, starting off slow and building up to the vocals. Despite this initial weak start, the track psyches itself up into a storming chorus with a truly memorable bass riff that pervades the entire song. The Hell Is For Heroes comparison becomes clear in this instance, as SFS demonstrate their ability to craft those initial slow burners that win you over in no time. An interesting echo effect on the vocals midway through, followed by the pained shriek of “We’ll be alright!” hits hard and the gang vocals are, while minimal (perhaps a few more voices required), pretty impressive.

The b-side to the single, Bridges, features some more of the same. It starts off shaky – there’s a bit of dodgy timing on the guitar – but as soon as the chorus breaks, the track immediately picks up with a killer hook. It’s a tightly controlled romp, but less interesting than its cousin in ‘Five Lights’, hence its B-side status. There’s still plenty to like though, particularly that verse riff when it’s timed right, and the instrumental section about two thirds in kicks into a definitely heartfelt and emotional chorus.

‘LXV’ starts off a bit differently, vocals kicking in first but continues on with the same kind of guitar lines shown before. Reminiscent of several songs from InMe’s first album, Overgrown Eden – the pedal effects sounded suspiciously familiar – they’ve certainly retained that early 2000’s feel. Out of all the tracks sent to me, this is by far the weakest, but still an enjoyable listen even if it doesn’t stand out from the rest.

The Raven, described to me by bassist Bam as a bit of a ‘bonus track’ opens up with an absolutely awesome riff and to begin with, has a bit of a Juneau-esque vibe to it. The synth effects in the interludes really add to the track and vocalist Matt seems to have hit the right style in this one, alternating between clean vocals and a haunting rasp for ‘Never more!’ Although lyrically, the band aren’t wonderfully proficient (there’s a few choice lines here and there throughout all the songs sent to me), it simply doesn’t matter with vocal lines as strong as they are in this song. Great stuff.

Although hitting the nostalgia part of my brain with tunes reminiscent of last decade, there’s still a lot of new and exciting stuff here. There’s clearly bounds of potential in these few tracks and with news that they’re introducing a new guitarist into the mix, it’s bound to get a bit interesting. If you’re a fan of Hell Is For Heroes, InMe or Hundred Reasons, give these guys a listen and I promise you, there’s a lot to love.

3.5 out of 5 high fives!