With the creation of Marshall Records and their subsequent signings of Reigning Days, The Dirty Youth and King Creature, it was obvious that not only were they scouting the best new talent out there but they were mindful of finding fresh and modern sounds and each with their own distinct style.
Then there’s Rews. Much like their label-mates, they’re something entirely different and complete the eclectic stable Marshall are home to. As a two-piece, there’s been some talk of them being called the “female Royal Blood”. The main difference (other than their genders) is these girls can actually play their instruments and have a far more captivating album than Royal Blood’s.
Despite lacking a bass player, the music is as full-bodied as any “traditional” sound and at no point is lacking for want of a low end. This is mainly because guitarist (and vocalist) Shauna Tohill is playing some of the most distorted-as-fuck guitar work about. She deftly marries it with some massive hooks and covers it all in a nice pop sheen, latest single “Your Tears” being a perfect example of this.
Opening salvos of “Let It Roll” and “Rip Up My Heart” showcase drummer Collette Williams to her full potential with their hard edge which is swiftly followed by “Violins”. All of them are in and out of your ears quicker than you can blink, powered by her frenetic drumming.
Meanwhile the funky “We Explode” turns the fuzz and distortion to the proverbial eleven and a synth-y breakdown alongside the audience participation moment of “Oooh-oooh” which continues into follow-up track “Shake Shake”. Admittedly, there is a slight Royal Blood moodiness on “Shine” but imagine it’s done to a much higher standard and with Tohill’s drawling vocals to make it sound hateful.
However, songs like “Death Yawn” with its tinge of arrogance and boredom segue nicely into the artsy “Miss You in the Dark” with its massive groove. It’s with these songs placed later in the album which shows a band of two different sides and how they evolve, tracks one and ten sounding completely different but as you listen to the evolution in the sequencing, it’s a band utilising disparate sounds to create an album which is fluid and varied.
Scuzzy, grungy and most importantly; fun, Pyro is a brilliant way to spend half an hour. Just as the idea of two-pieces is becoming old hat, Rews have come along to shake up the formula and make it captivating once more.
Header image by Johnny Finnis
Pyro is out now