I had been wondering for quite some time who would be supporting Blues Pills on their upcoming tour next month. Given their tour in November featured the mighty BlackWolf; I imagined it would be a band worthy of the multi-national blues outfit. As it happened, when I was sent RavenEye’s debut EP, it was revealed this trio would have the honour.
One listen of Breaking Out from RavenEye is enough to answer the question: yes, they are worthy. With an incredible pedigree with each member having their own claim to fame (working with Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck, drum tutorials on YouTube and orchestra scores), this is a hard rock band who knows their trade well. Imagine Mayfield Four’s later material mixed with Alter Bridge during their AB III period but with elements of Soundgarden and a voice reminiscent of Chris Cornell and RavenEye is the end product.
Oli Brown wails and growls his vocals over his grinding guitar. Title track “Breaking Out” is a juggernaut of a song. The riff chugs along before rocketing into high speed, transforming from a shy opening “hello” to a person sure of his surroundings to declare who and what he is. It’s a formula which repeats in closing song “You Got It”, sounding musically similar, perhaps born out of the same jam session. It’s also where bass guitar (also provided by Brown) has its moment in the spotlight, providing a dark, haunting bass tone which rumbles throughout like an underlying threat.
Meanwhile on “Get it Started”, Lyle Molzan smacks his drumkit with an almost virtuoso ability. He creates a perfect marching rhythm much akin to Stone Sour’s “Do Me a Favour” and is his finest moment on the EP.
With much of Breaking Out, there’s a dark, brooding sound, almost with a hint of danger. However, “Runaway” brings in a radio-friendly sound and adds a layer of pop. It’s here Brown sounds most like Chris Cornell to the point where you’d be forgiven if you thought it was the Soundgarden frontman. The band drop and gear and strip everything back to a basic level to create one of the best songs on the EP; it’s ridiculously catchy.
As Oli Brown can only do so much on stage, for live performances, he’s recruited drummer Kev Hickman and bass man Aaron Spiers. And moving forward they will be RavenEye. (Kudos to Dawn for picking up on our error!)
If you enjoy your hard rock with a bit of diversity and are looking for a new band, RavenEye is the place to look. There’s not enough three-piece acts getting attention and this is one deserving of it. And if you happen to be seeing Blues Pills next month, make sure you’re there early for this trio.
Breaking Out is released 11th May