By The Crypt
With a name such as The Crypt, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this band is a Goth-rock or black metal outfit. In fact they don't wear frilly shirts, they aren't from Norway and they don't burn down churches (as far as we know). They're from Newcastle, they like to rock, and here they've come up with a demo that should appeal to all types of rock fan.
'With Love' has a stop-start opening which evolves into a dark, brooding love song. With a strong rhythm section and chugging guitar behind it, lead singer/guitarist Oli's voice stands out, with a tone reminiscent of Kurt Cobain's more tuneful efforts. So far, so good.
'Take Me Down' shows off the sort of simple, pounding riff championed by Tom Morello, the man behind Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. The middle section gives the band a chance to show off their skills, with a solo reminiscent firstly of AC/DC's version of 'Baby Please Don't Go' and then Iron Maiden's 'Paschendale'. Heading back into more funked up RATM territory, the final verse then drops the guitar to good effect before cleverly finishing off with the great riff which opened the song.
'First Time' is probably the weak-link in this little collection. Whilst it's a good, grungy tune with hints of Nine Black Alps about it, it moves along without the power or urgency of the first two tracks. It does, however, provide the pick of the solos.
Demo-closer 'Never Ever' thankfully sounds nothing like All Saints' effort. In fact it's the most up-tempo of the four tracks with a great opening riff which brings happy memories of Motley's 'Girls Girls Girls'. It's got that great 80s sound you might find at the beginning of Top Gun and, clocking in at just over 2 minutes, it provides the same sort of adrenalin rush.
The fact that these songs were recorded in one take impresses- each song feels live, but has a polished studio quality that only comes with practise and good band-chemistry. The songs never outstay their welcome and promise even better to come. If The Crypt are around these parts any time soon, they'll be well worth a look-in.