Slow Riot’s debut album release is one that brings mixed emotions as it is a record that more than delivers on the huge promise displayed on early singles & EPs. However, when listening to this impressive debut one can’t help but be affected with genuine sadness given that this is probably the last we’ll hear from the band who disbanded last year, just as a potentially massive breakthrough beckoned.
‘G.A.D.’ opens with the immensely powerful Trophy Wife, a hugely robust, bass driven track peppered with some sublime guitar licks that perfectly sums up what Slow Riot are all about. Changing pace on the next track, A Lighthouse displays the virtuosity of the band with Niall Clancy extolling about how his “love is a lighthouse, she looks in to my heart”. It’s a passionately profound track that sets us up for another sonic assault on Betrayed before the band return to more reflective ground on the album’s title track, bringing us on a poetic journey of hopeful recovery.
Throughout the album the obvious influence of post-punk bands such as Interpol, Joy Division and The Cure can be felt, the latter’s influence is particularly strong in the middle section of the album with the gorgeous melodies and delightful guitar layers on Heaven’s Daughter & Burn in the City, but this album is very much Slow Riot’s distinctive bent on that oeuvre.
Some bands lose a little piece of magic during the recording process, not so with Slow Riot who’s sound has been perfectly honed in the studio to present us with an impressive collection of songs that mix the darkness of despair and frustration with the glimmer of love and belief. The line ‘the lights are running red, in my head” on closing track Mr. Inconsistent seem darkly prophetic, the stabbing strings adding to the emotional cacophony as the LP fades out.
And then they were gone, and if this is indeed the last we hear from Slow Riot then ‘G.A.D.’ is a fitting epitaph to leave us with, for a band who certainly could have been, and should have been contenders.
‘G.A.D.’ is released on Straight Lines Are Fine Records on November 15th.