After dominating the Sydney music scene in recent months and rightfully earning a reputation as the most entertaining act on the East Coast, Sunset Riot’s reach is quickly spreading out of the restricted Australian scene. Their sights are now set on taking grass roots Australian rock back to an international level. But is their EP worthy? Dave Roberts gets his rock on to find out.
I first heard about Sunset Riot a few weeks before their EP came across the cables to my computer. The singer in my band had mentioned this ‘epic band’ to me, saying that a friend of hers was the front man. Naturally I was intrigued, and jumped on their MySpace to have a listen.
What I was greeted with was some of the best rock coming out of Sydney in recent times. Now that I’ve had a listen to their EP – I can finally put my two cents worth into the mix.
The first track, "Rattlesnake" hits the listener hard and fast. With an intro riff worthy to stand next to any Slash or Page written riff, my attention is immediately focused. This continues to the catchy verse and the even better chorus. It’s one of those choruses that you can hear once or twice and have it stuck in your head all day – and the guitar solo is sublime and well written. With a middle breakdown almost reminiscent of Bullet For My Valentine, before launching into the final chorus, it’s easy to see that the influences don’t just stem from the 70s and 80s.
The next track, "Trash vs Class" is another enduring rock classic. Perhaps not as strong as its predecessor, "Trash vs Class" remains a powerful rock track that has the ability to become both an underground classic and an international hit if marketed right.
The following song, "Moonshine", seems to bring in another influence I wasn’t expecting – some U2 in the delayed guitar. This track seems to be more reserved than the previous track - perhaps a ballad that was turned into a more of a rock ballad. It also has a hint of pop in the mix, rather than just straight out four-four rock.
Now onto "Rain", arguably the heaviest track on the album. Reminiscent of The Revolution Smile, it is a hard-hitting track that immediately got me interested – even the softer verses and the heavy choruses – the contrast between light and dark is amazing. Well written, well performed, and a raw quality in the vocals that picked up the song doubly so. This is my favourite track on the album by far, although the following track almost had my preference.
"New Day" is the final track on Sunset Riot, and I loved it. It has an Alter Bridge quality to the vocals, while the guitars just seem to punch through. The chorus is fantastic – the vocals bring it to almost classic status. If it weren’t for the previous track, it would have been my favourite track on the album.
Overall, a solid EP. Five great songs, well written and well performed by all members. However, it’s a pretty short EP – those five songs totalling just over twenty minutes. But don’t be fooled, it’s a twenty minutes you won’t forget in a hurry. A Velvet Revolver re-hash with an Aussie flavour, mixed with vocals that could go head to head with Miles Kennedy – it’s a sound that only they can make. And it’s a sound that I love – and you will too.
Well performed, great production makes it an album on the to buy list for all.
Review Score: 7.5/10