Screaming Eagles - Stand Up and Be Counted (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)

Screamin' an' bleedin'... Bleedin' great that is!

Northern Irish metalheads Screaming Eagles are surely a band born outta time. Just two and a half minutes into titanic opening track Ready For the Fall the band will – if you’ll let them – transport you back to around 1988 when their brand of Skid Row-meets-Acca Dacca-meets Kix mayhem was king of the dancefloors the world over – via the gift of some feisty vocalisin’ from Chris Fry and some righteously INCENDIARY fretwork from Adrian McAleenan. This is balls-out gonzoid rockin’ of the highest order and, minus one glaring omission – a gang vocal on the excellent chorus woulda been the icing on this rockular cake – it hits the spot BANG ON!!

Second track Save Me is dirtier, more SWAGGERY, with Fry getting’ all Blaze Bayley on the verses (and as an old Howlin’ Mad Shithead that’s fine by me!), bookended by air raid sirens just in case your ears didn’t already realise they were under serious assault… whilst the anthemic title track is another prime slab of eighties hair metal shannanigans, full of snakehipped bad intentions and badder axework. 

If Bow Down to the Blues ain’t floatin’ the Lukki Strykes boat in quite such spectacular fashion – though there ain’t nothing particularly wrong, yunnerstand’… it just ain’t my cuppa Earl Grey – then neither are Chase You Down or Get Out While I’m Ahead, both of which create plenty of hot air but not much in the way of lasting effect; However normal service is resumed on the excellent, stomping pop rock of Breakin All the Rules; strangely it opens up like something Aussie MORsters the Little River Band might have had a hand in before morphing into a full-force rocker not too far away from the recent output of another Aussie band, the mighty Tonk. Its simplistic, it’s PRIMAL – and it’s a whole lotta fun!

Next up is the album’s surprise piece, the dark, crawling Street of Gold. It’s got a grunge feel to it (that’s grunge as in the lost Kiss ‘grunge’ album, Carnival of Souls rather than any horrible Nirvana-type nonsense) and it’s a STOMPING fine piece of grinding heavy rock, neatly offsetting the more funtime material that’s gone before it. Penultimate song Screaming Eagles (hey, no-one else is gonna write a song about your band so why not!) is another big-chorused slice of hard rock, but it’s another one that just misses the mark ‘cos the band duck out of supporting it’s excellent chorus with big gang vocals. Seriously – this and the opening track could be MASSIVE with just a little more oomph in that department!

Final track 27 Club sees the band letting the listener down gently after all the raucousness and MERRYMAKING that’s been goin’ down earlier, with a riff straight outta the Young brothers playbook and a woozy, restrained vocal from Fry (in the verses at least!), and in the final washup I gotta say that Stand Up… is one of the more enticing slabs of melodic heavy rock I’ve heard in a while – nice work Irish blokes!


Stand Up and be Counted is out now on Off Yer Rocka Recordings