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The Alive - Turned Up to Destroy

The Alive
Turned Up To Destroy
by Chris Hicklin at 25 April 2022, 5:07 PM

Turned Up to Destroy” is the first LP from US Hard Rockers THE ALIVE, although you wouldn’t know it, as it is an assured debut from a band that sounds like they could have been playing together for years. There’s not a lot to say about the influences, they wear them on their sleeves, it’s uncomplicated Mainstream Rock, it never gets heavy enough to call any of it Metal, but it’s still packed full of some killer riffs.

After a brief intro named “The Call” which uses blaring police sirens and a voiceover that sets outtheir stall with no chance for misinterpretation, it’s straight into the action with “Where Are My Animals” a propulsive blast, and a call to arms for those about to Rock!

All The Way to Babylon” dials things back a little, going for little more of a Stoner Rock feel, with extremely fuzzed guitars and a repetitive riff. The guitar solo is a ripper in this one, however the song as a whole falls a little short of some of the other material on the LP. They get even more relaxed on “Hard Enough,” opening as a Country ballad in the vein of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” it unexpectedly throws in a nice crunchy guitar riff leading one to think it is about to get heavy, but instead pivots into more of a power ballad with a huge chorus, epic solo and a very singable la-la-la section to lead it out, very singable because you don’t need to know the words. This one was more diverse than at first expected.

Things pick up nicely with “Lemon Crush,” this one motors along and has a catchy vocal hook that sticks in the memory, oh, and it’s about girls! Wes Lee Scott’s vocals really open on this song, he shows that he has a very capable Hard Rock voice, with powerful delivery and a decent range. They keep the pace on “All My Friends Are Vampires,” a red-blooded celebration of partying the night away. The guitar solo is deliberately discordant lending an off kilter feel to the sing that suits the lyrical content greatly. As with the previous few songs, this features a creative outro that makes you feel like you didn’t just listen to a verse-chorus pop song, which you did.

Come Get Some” has a traditional Blues 12-bar boogie driving it, although the song carries a large amount of energy despite the pedestrian format, with a beautiful bit of cowbell thrown in and another brilliant guitar solo. I like the solos on this album a lot because they don’t just chuck a solo over the verse or chorus riff, or a combination of the two, the solo sections are crafted in their own right, and feel like an integral part of the song rather than an exercise in fulfilling expectations. They do love a Blues riff, as there’s another one on “High on You” which is a very lyrically undemanding Glam-Rocker with 80s style Hair Metal shouty choruses. I’m sorry to burden them with POISON comparisons as they don’t really deserve insults, but it’s a bit like “Unskinny Bop” but way better.

There’s a bit of a Pop-Punk outing with “The Real Thing (Love’s A Bitch)” which has some BLINK182 energy to it before they finally take a moment to be serious on “Haunting Me,” it has a dainty clean guitar intro, but it doesn’t take long to turn into a beefy Hard Rock ballad in the vein of STONE SOUR. Great vocals on this one as Scott allows his natural gravel to come to the fore summoning the spirit of COREY TAYLOR.

This Is Rock and Roll” is an accurately titled way to wind the album up, it’s Rock and Roll in its purest form.  The production is decent, it’s a very simple setup so there’s no frills needed, it does the job. For a three-piece this band really packs an enormous punch, the guitars are all ably handled by Tye Hall and should reproduce live well as they only really use overdubs for solos, otherwise it’s just straight ahead non-stop one-man riffage and boy does he pack a lot of them into this LP. Tracy Duty’s drumming is excellent, not content to simply provide a beat, the drums are a key part of why this album works so well, as he brings lots of rhythmic interludes synchronised with guitar riffs that break up songs and make the four-minute pop-song format they use far more exciting. Another thing to note is Wes Lee Scott’s understanding of how to craft a vocal hook, this album is littered with catchy chants and anthemic choruses. I confidently predict that this material will slay the crowds on the live circuit.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability:8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Where Are My Animals
2. All the Way to Babylon
3. Hard Enough
4. Lemon Crush
5. All My Friends Are Vampires
6. Come Get Some
7. High on You
8. The Real Thing (Love’s A Bitch)
9. Haunting Me
10. This Is Rock and Roll
Lineup:
Wes Lee Scott - Lead Vocals/Bass Guitar
Tye Hall - Guitar
Tracy Duty – Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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