It’s been niggling at me for the past couple of weeks that I have nothing by Rank Berry, the best band of NHC’s Big Band Payday Weekend. So I decided to put down some money for their debut EP. Bandcamp allows you to pay whatever you think is suitable (£2 or more). And for three tracks for a great band like Rank Berry, that’s a damn good deal the listener is getting.
As I said when I saw them at 13th Note, there’s a hunger, a raw urgency which was prevalent in Guns N’ Roses during their early days. It shines through on this EP too.
Opening gambit “Down the River” smacks of Motley Crue during their heyday. Between the dirty and grinding main riff and Jamie O’Donnell’s drawling vocals sounding far better than anything Vince Neil can hope to accomplish nowadays, it could have come from “Too Fast for Love” or “Shout at the Devil”. It also shows the band at their most raw state; that hunger bubbling to the fore. Skill will only take you so far but with passion, you’ll go the distance and Rank Berry has both in abundance.
With “This Disease” and “Good Times”, lead guitarist Brian Kerr channels Slash without emulating him to create some original licks and gives the songs their own identity. Riffs crunch and squeal in equal measure, weaving around O’Donnell’s rhythm guitar.
Bass rumbles throughout from Marc Doherty and gives the music much of its character. It’s especially meaty on “Good Times” to the point it slaps you in the face, refusing to skulk in the background. In fact, Doherty and drummer Grant Dallas lock together succinctly to create a great rhythm section throughout and forces you to nod along, taking no prisoners.
Rank Berry has a fantastic debut EP here and the next one is due to be recorded next month and hopefully released shortly after. So if this whets your appetite, there’s more to come. Add the fact they’re pretty active on the local circuit and you shouldn’t have long to wait to catch one of their engaging performances.