Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette


Like an energetic puppy…

Released through Nuclear Blast on 10 June 2016, the date when, concidentally, Allan Jones bought a vodka with a dead scorpion in it…

I’m really not sure what they were thinking when they put this album together, but a classic rock concept album about a bloke betrayed by his missus and her new lover dealing with the various mental states he goes through to redefine his own reality wasn’t what I was expecting at all.

No, I’m not kidding.

If that’s the sort of prog-rock-eqsue kind of thing that puts you off, then prepare to open your mind because this album is utterly awesome.

It’s hard to know where to start, really. If I said that there was a hard-hitting 70s groove coupled with the menace of 80s cock and the arrogance of 80s hair metal, I’d still be nowhere near describing the sound that they’ve pulled off. Hammond organ that wouldn’t be out of place on a Deep Purple album seamlessly blends into guitar work that grooves and slams its way into your skull. Wailing vocals and thundering drums combine to crush you into submission, with the basslines boot-stomping all over your face almost as a casual afterthought.

With this much groove and swing to it you’d swear blind that someone was turning up the volume while you weren’t looking. Even the spoken word interlude part-way through only serves as a brief respite before the album resumes with another slice of organ-and-guitar heaven. How in the hell they’ve pulled this off after replacing a bassist, and a drummer, and one of the guitarists since their debut album came out is astonishing. You’d swear blind that they’d played together in seedy, dead-end bars to slumped-over patrons for decades.

If I had to pick favourites, I’d say ‘My Woman In Black’ and ‘Twilight Coven’ probably just about top the rest for me. I’m glad I don’t, though, because every track has something in there that just grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go. ‘Moon Tension’, for example, toys with the whole hair metal thing with cock rock riffage galore, and ‘Survives’ opens with a quiet bluesy piano before descending into a big power ballad. The title track ‘Acid Roulette’ has more Hammond organ than you can shake a stick at in proper 70s style, and ‘Tower Grove’ just throws a thumping guitar riff to the fore and bounds along like an energetic puppy. You can’t help but tap your feet and nod your head. This album is ambitious, ferocious, distinctive, and I absolutely bloody love it.

Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette9 out of 10

Track list:

  1. She Sings, I Kill
  2. Reaper’s Danse
  3. My Woman In Black
  4. Acid Roulette
  5. Winter Side Of Deranged
  6. Séance
  7. Twilight Coven
  8. Survives
  9. Blind Man’s Shine
  10. Moon Tension
  11. Tower Grove
  12. I Might Be Your Man
  13. Addictions