Cumbria’s Falling Red surprised me with this little package that dropped through the mailbox (not the kind of surprise package the local kids like to drop through the slot – the kind that leaves a stain on the mat and requires a litre of Dettol to make safe). Their new album, Lost Souls, will be ready to rattle the eardrums of the general public in a couple of weeks, but I’ve had it since January so it’s had plenty of time to sink into my cerebellum.
And sink it has after numerous plays. Peddling a sub-genre they’re happy to call “post-sleaze”, they’re a smutty cousin to the more mainstream hard rock bands. While not as scuzzy as Love/Hate, they’ve got definite rough edges and they use them to abrade your eardrums to wonderful effect.
Penning tracks that vary from pulse-raising rockers to heartstring-plucking quieter efforts, Falling Red haven’t left a dull moment on Lost Souls. Riff after riff, tempo change after tempo change, it’s all good music with more than a handful of songs that you know will rouse any crowd at a gig. Indeed, I’d say two of the best songs on the album are two of the more emotive. “War In The Sky” has a belter of a chorus, while “My Town, My City” is one of a pair of lighter numbers of the dozen (plus intro) on show but incredibly catchy. The fact that it’s different really gets you listening and I love it.
Indeed, that’s Falling Red’s strength – like the aforementioned Love/Hate throwing “Don’t Fuck With Me” onto Wasted in America like a balladic curveball, Falling Red aren’t afraid to take a pause and lay down a song that breaks things up. Just as the louder numbers start to blend a little (and I mean a little), along comes the afore-mentioned “My Town, My City” or “Beautiful Lie”. The point in the gig where the acoustic guitars are strapped on for some arm waving and a proper singalong.
The rockers are top notch, too. “Haunted”‘s fist pumping choral shout is just begging to be played to a big audience, while album opener “The Day I Lost My Soul” is the kind of high-energy number that any band would love to walk onto stage and launch into. Props to the final track, a completely let-loose piece of catharsis called “A Song For The Haters”, just over two minutes of middle finger waving aimed at… well, it’s in the title.
Funded by a PledgeMusic campaign, those who pumped cash into Lost Souls should be very happy with their investment. The rest of us should be grateful to them.
Lost Souls comes out on March 16th