Review by Dave Evans
Carlisle’s Falling Red are a band I have eagerly followed since I reviewed their 2010 debut album, Shake The Faith. I summed up their impressive release with the following: “Eight tracks in thirty minutes, Falling Red aren’t a band who are about to stand around gathering dust, they hit the ground running – straight up and at ’em, then leave before anyone’s noticed the beer fridge has been half-inched… along with your girlfriend!” Well, after many beers – and presumably girlfriends – Falling Red have certainly not been gathering dust. Successful tours with Steel Panther and Sebastian Bach to name but two have seen the foursome turn the bourbon and sex-filled bravado of their debut album into a ‘ring-ready’ beast of a machine. Their manifesto of not taking any shit from anyone has been turned into a public service announcement on the state of the world and its poisoned institutions.
This fully fan-pledged album opens with ‘Time To Rise’ and it’s delicately strummed strings sitting atop a spoken passage of intent, we are immediately drawn into the band’s purpose and by the time ‘The Devil You Know’ kicks in with its straight ahead no remorse approach, we are all gathered as one and ready to take up arms in the Orwellian drama that is unfolding before us. This is further typified by the Marilyn Manson-esque stomp of ‘We Escaped A Cult’. Eerie guitar stabs fight it out with yob chants and rabble raising drumming from Dave Sanders. The pace continues with ‘Break Me’ a relentless track that would sit happily on Skid Row’s Slave To The Grind album such is it’s menace balanced cleverly with infectious melody.
It is already clear that Falling Red have taken the confidence they have garnered over the last few years and have expanded their sound, tested themselves musically if you will. ‘Outcast’, whilst continuing the theme of isolation and rebellion, sees the band really opening up and showing their true inner-selves. The evolution is subtle but very effective.
The album continues with the punk stomp of ‘Disposable’, with its ‘Sex Type Thing’-styled riff, it moves at such a pace that the following, the title track ‘Empire Of The Damned’ serves as welcome let-up in pace. It’s a beautifully crafted piece that draws on the band’s canny ear for theatrical bombast and drama, imagine clips from CNN News items interspersed with cinematic images depicting the Apocalypse and you come close to the bands vision.
‘We Are Reckless’ and ‘No Sanctuary’ bob along very nicely and further demonstrate the bands ability to pen wickedly infectious songs that leave you already knowing that you are listening to a very special body of work. The album, all to quickly, heads for home with the Motley Crue splatter of ‘Lonely Way To Die’, all low-slung guitars and scattered bar tables, a pleasant nod back to the band;s debut and all its youthful bravado.
The whole explosive package closes with the lingering wink of the eye that is ‘Change For No One’ and as the dust settles and the smoke finally clears we know we have been witness to a band that is fully in control of its affairs. This is one manifesto that has delivered on all levels. Musically Rozey, Jayde, Dave and Dann have – with the help of Matt Elliss and Pete Maher –taken the bull by the horns and left a big dirty footprint where it was tethered. Be prepared to sign up and join the revolution!
9 out of 10
- Time To Rise
- The Devil You Know
- We Escaped A Cult
- Break Me
- Empire Of The Damned
- We Are Reckless
- No Sanctuary
- Lonely Way To Die
- Change For No One