Scorpion Child: Scorpion Child
A few months ago, I saw Scorpion Child perform on the same bill with Lionize, Orange Goblin, and Clutch. I had already heard of Scorpion Child but was unfamiliar with their music. When they took the stage, they performed with incredible energy and played off of the current resurgence of interest in 70s guitar rock most effectively. They easily won my attention and, so I think, the attention of the audience generally. Here's a part of what I wrote about Scorpion Child's in my original review: "With hope, they'll make a big splash and win a big audience. It helps that they are a genuinely talented band and are writing very strong songs. This is a band that has already risen to the top of their local scene and is poised to win the attention of a national audience. The best thing about Scorpion Child is that they play with that warm, distorted sound that hits that sweet spot between the ears. They don't imitate or pretend. These guys own the sound and strut about on stage as though they've been doing this forever. They sound fresh and exciting. Keep your eye on these guys because they are sure to make a strong impression wherever they go."
Now that Scorpion Child's self-titled debut is out, I can think even more about what this band is doing and try to understand just what it was that so impressed me earlier this year. I'm especially happy to report that the band has just as strong a presence on record as they do on stage. For those unfamiliar with Scorpion Child, their music largely comes out of the best of 70s guitar rock. Fortunately, the band invokes that older style within imitating any one band in particular. Check out tracks like "King's Highway" or "Polygon of Eyes," for example, and listen for the various influences as they work their way through each riff and each chorus. What bands stand out the most? Is it late Led Zeppelin? Rainbow? Some other band? To me, Scorpion Child is all of them and none of them at the same time. In other words, this band recreates new possibilities with the sounds and styles of the past and does it with their own voice. They're lucky—not every band can say that it sounds like itself in a debut album. If this band finds a large audience—and I hope they do—I think it will be because of the effective blend of warm distortion, strong riffs, and that special touch of nostalgia that's clearly in play here.
For me, Scorpion Child sounds best when they are energetic, when they push the music forward with heavy guitars and soulful, passionate, vocals. Tracks like the aforementioned "King's Highway," "Polygon of Eyes," "Paradigm," and "The Secret Spot," are rock solid and have a certain charm that should resonate with any fan of hard rock. To me, it would be a shame if "Polygon of Eyes" doesn't get picked up by rock radio—the song soars directly into the ears and cries out for drivers everywhere to sing the words right in the middle of commute time. Having said that, I do worry that the slower tracks—"Antioch" and "Red Blood"—won't have quite the same broad appeal. Don't get me wrong, they are terrific songs, but they don't have that extra level of energy and excitement found in the other tracks. Sure, things can't always keep blasting away, measure after measure, riff by riff, but I don't think the band's voice is quite as strong in the slower moments. Still, this album rewards a careful listen from beginning to end (there's even a bonus musical epilogue after a minute or so of silence at the end). For readers who like a lusty and soulful commitment to hard rock played with brightness and warmth, this is a can't-miss new release.
1. King's Highway
2. Polygon of Eyes
3. The Secret Spot
4. Salvation Slave
7. In the Arms of Ecstasy
9. Red Blood (The River Flows)
Added: July 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
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Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-07-02 15:16:06
Interesting to see Nuclear Blast scooping up a relatively unknown band and now seemingly setting that band up for possible stardom. That very band is Scorpion Child and they've delivered a top notch set of songs here on their self-titled debut. To say the band is influenced by some of the greats of the '70s is an understatement, as you can just feel the spirit of Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, Aerosmith, Rush, Ted Nugent, and Rainbow flowing within these tunes, but more often than not I'm reminded of the early '80s debut of Fastway, who ironically also took many of those very same influences. This is lean, mean, meaty, groove laden heavy rock, long on powerful vocals, thick riffs & slashing lead work, and memorable melodies.
Some of the riffs here are simply outstanding, especially on "The Secret Spot", "Polygon of Eyes", "In the Arms of Ecstasy", "Paradigm", and "King's Highway", so if you love those juicy heavy rock guitar riffs of the glory years, you've come to the right place. Aryn Jonathan Black tops it all off with some truly powerful vocals, as he seems to be one of those singers that you'll no doubt also have to experience live to really get the full package. You have to love when a band comes out of nowhere and delivers something this potent-check this one out!
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