Jun 25

Scorpion Child – Scorpion Child (2013)

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Sometime last year, I went out and saw Gypsyhawk do a very small headliner in Tempe. Little did I know that the show would be stolen by these guys: a little band called Scorpion Child out of Austin, TX (an instant bonding point between myself and the band). Their music hearkens back to Led Zeppelin and their vocalist walked around like he owned the stage. Since then, they’ve managed to sign to Nuclear Blast Entertainment and are now about to headline the Sumerian Stage at the Mayhem Festival. Not bad at all for a band just now putting out their debut full-length.The question remains though: how does this all translate on record? Is it all worth the hype?

First off, the best way to describe this band is straight up rock and roll, all built around a vocalist who literally sounds like he stole Robert Plant‘s vocal chords shortly after Led Zeppelin IV and with some chain smoking in the middle. That is to say: he sounds like a more abrasive version of Robert Plant, and that’s most definitely not a bad thing. The music that is in this record is packed to the gills with hooks and melodies that are very difficult to leave your mind. The single that preceded this release, Polygon of Eyes, is practically tailor-made for radio, with an anthemic chorus that immediately recalls Joan Jett. The band is also willing to experiment a bit, with the verses in Salvation Slave being a very good example. The dissonance between the vocals and the guitars is both striking and interesting. Furthermore, they’re definitely willing to play a bit, with the ballad Antioch going into the headbanging, dance worthy, crowd vocals of Paradigm. There’s plenty of blues thrown in the mix too to keep things interesting, which is something that is definitely appreciated all across the board and something that makes them an actual band taking from their past to make something entirely new, as opposed to totally plagiarizing Led Zeppelin IV.

However, they do occasionally fall into the trap of emulating a little too closely. The Secret Spot sounds a bit eerily too much like Zeppelin, and parts of Salvation Slave I can almost hear Robert Plant saying “did he just say Ramble On in this song?” Am I being nitpicky? Absolutely, maybe even a little much, but I say that because I feel the band’s want to explore a bit more, and they absolutely should. But once again, I am being nitpicky, and these shouldn’t detract from what is already a great experience.

So in summation, you definitely shouldn’t sleep on these guys. Many bands that emulate older music, or take a large influence, don’t bring too much new to the table. Furthermore, I miss when music on the radio had balls, and this band has it together. In a few years, I’m actually willing to bet that they will be on the radio on many of the stations I actively avoid due to shitty music – and it is well deserved. All they need to do is experiment a teeny bit more and we’re most definitely good to go. As for now, when you kids go to Mayhem Fest, you should go pick up a copy of this and show it to your Zeppelin-loving parents. You will be better for it and your parents may actually go and enjoy a concert with you. Maybe they’ll even tell you about how they did LSD while listening to Zeppelin. But that’s a bit overreaching. Regardless, fantastic first effort. Let me repeat myself: DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS.

Tracklist:

1. Kings Highway
2. Polygon of Eyes
3. The Secret Spot
4. Salvation Slave
5. Liquor
6. Antioch
7. In the Arms of Ecstacy
8. Paradigm
9. Red Blood (The River Flows)

Length: 51 Minutes

Record Label: Nuclear Blast Entertainment

Genre: Hard Rock

Line Up:

Aryn Jonathan Black – Vocals
Shaun Diettrick Avants – Bass
Christopher Jay Cowart – Lead
Shawn Paul Alvear – Percussion
Tom “The Mole” Frank – Rhythm

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/scorpionchild
https://twitter.com/scorpionchild

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