Well, what’s to be said?
2021 is always going to be a year that we are dying to get back to the gigs. Yes, the expensive watered-down lager in a plastic cup surrounded by sweaty people has never been so appealing. So when a band – who you respect and admire release a brand new EP it’s always going to be a time of excitement. Especially when you know this very year you will hear it played live. So, all during this time of live music abstinence I blast out the new EP from Ravenbreed – Echoes.
Firstly, let’s get our ducks in a row. I love Ravenbreed. They have gone through changes in their line-up, yes but after being lucky enough to catch them live in 2019 let me tell you – they are a band and a half live. With the introduction of Luke Short on vocals Ravenbreed without doubt will go from strength to strength. So the fantastic four – Mikey Watkins, Ross Formosa, Oli Watkins and Luke Short can deliver the readies live on stage. And finally Echoes the EP has been completed. So can these Welsh wizards deliver the Ravenbreed magic they promise? In a nutshell – yes – and more.
Echoes is a beast of an EP. It starts off with Echoes, a gentle opener that soon opens the door to the sold sounds of a rock classic. Its well crafted verse, leads to a perfectly suited bridge followed by an absolute stonker of a chorus. I remember being a teenager watching Raw Power and The Power Hour and hearing Can I Play With Madness by Iron Maiden. It’s when I fell in love with rock music. 33 years later Ravenbreed have taken the baton and passed it on. And very securely with that. The time, around 2.40 minutes when we hear Watkin’s solo you have realised 2020 is a forgotten memory and we are back in the rock n roll room. As we hear “Echo down the wishing well”, the magic and power of good solid pounding rock music is truly secured.
The second song Wasted (Over you) is the first single. This song has been listened to me endlessly for two reasons, one – that I love it and secondly that it is played repeatedly on rock radio shows (including mine). Formosa’s bass hits you square in the face then the song drops quicker than Suarez in a tackle. When I heard this track, a few months ago I had an inkling the Echoes would be a stonker. This was one of my most accurate predictions in 2020.
Pullin’ My Chain follows, an absolute pounder. Yet again, I answer the question many people have asked, “Do they make rock music like they used to?” The answer is Yes. Yes, yes, yes. While Short sings, “Is this who you really wanna be?” Ravenbreed show that this band of brothers are not a flash in the pan. Sterling stuff. If you picture the festivals that Ravenbreed deserve to be on, the crowd currently are euphoric.
The EP concludes with Fires. And what a conclusion it is. In case you hadn’t noticed – Ladies and Gentlemen, Luke Short has entered the building. What a beautiful song indeed. Fires is not a slow song to fill a gap in-between the heavies. Absolutely not. Fires, is a work of art. Fires is a song that of recent years our rock staples are missing. It would be a song that many a mega band would be proud of. A well crafted and a beautiful executed song that will stand the test of time like so many others have. Its melancholy graceful tones remind me of Patience by Guns N Roses, What’s Left Of Me by Bon Jovi or Only Woman Bleed by Alice Cooper.
Echoes is in short an absolute fantastic body of work. Roll on 2021. Roll on Ravenbreed.