Screaming Eagles – Stand Up And Be Counted

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In-your-face Rock ‘n’ Roll

Reviewed by Stephen Brophy

Off Your Rocka Recordings

Release date: 8 August 2015

It’s a mystery what they are putting in the water in Northern Ireland at the moment, but Screaming Eagles are one of a batch of very classy and talented rock bands that are emanating from the country. Their debut album From The Flames still gets regular play from me and the new album has been highly anticipated for a number of months amongst the growing posse of followers they have been gathering through live shows over the last year and a fantastic break when their track ‘Rock ‘N Roll Soul’ was played on the US TV show Justified, giving them great exposure there.

Stand Up And Be Counted is another bombastic collection of hard rockin’ music. Chris Fry’s voice has something slightly different in tone that just fits the musical style they work in like a glove. The band are as tight as you could get and although their influences definitely shine through this is definitely a Screaming Eagles album. And there’s lots of variation in the tracks on offer.

This album swings along at a cracking pace from the balls-out rock of ‘Save Me’, which is just a cracking track by the way, through the blues rock standards of ‘Bow Down To The Blues’ and ‘Breakin’ All The Rules’ and everything is, corny as this may sound, made loud to be played loud, but the band is making a leap forward from the debut, the songwriting is on a higher level, the songs are even more raspy, and these new tracks just have a bigger feel to them.

Along with ‘Save Me’ the standout track here is the terrific ‘Screaming Eagles’ which goes someway to explain the band’s name, relating to the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division who played a vital part in a number of major operations in World War II. The song itself is a rousing belter that has no mellow intro, you are launched right into the middle of the pounding drum beat and killer riff, and it doesn’t let up at all, hopefully this will get added to the live set at some stage.

The longer you allow the album to sink in the more you appreciate it. Adrian McAleenan’s guitar playing from start to finish on this album is excellent, screeching and squealing solos enhance the songs but are not overdone or excessive. And Ryan Lilly (bass) and Kyle Cruikshank (drums) really drive this band forwards. Such a solid lineup they have become, and as noticeable as the step up is on this album they have not lost any of what made their sound in the first place.

This isn’t an album full of fancy frills, it’s in-your-face Rock ‘n’ Roll, it makes no apologies and it is summed up so well in the title track. And with pretty much every other track, it’s an honest piece of work, in your face and each song stands on its own merit. If you like your rock music straight in your face, no rubbish, and solid as a mountain, check this album out. Hopefully these guys will continue to rise higher and will be playing larger venues near you soon.

Screaming Eagles – StandUpAndBeCounted20159 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Ready For The Fall
  2. Save Me
  3. Stand Up And Be Counted
  4. Bow Down To The Blues
  5. Chase You Down
  6. Get Out While I’m Ahead
  7. Breakin’ All The Rules
  8. Streets Of Gold
  9. Screaming Eagles
  10. 27 Club