Sunday, July 14, 2013

Scorpion Child-Scorpion Child

Nuclear Blast Entertainment

Some while back I found myself pleasantly surprised by the fact that iTunes, of all people, had featured a rock band for their free single of the week. That particular track was an edit of "Polygon of Eyes" and it was a showcase for this Austin, Texas 5-piece known as Scorpion Child. Fronted by Aryn Jonathan Black, whose vocal delivery can best be described as being in the neighborhood of Robert Plant, and featuring twin guitar solos from the hands of (skilled) musicians Chris Cowart and Tom "The Mole" Frank, Scorpion Child ends up strolling down that same very same highway that countless other "retro" bands have tried to navigate over the years.With bassist Shaun Avants and drummer Shawn Alvear rounding out the band, and all eyes set on classic rock and 70's hard rock, this group rolls back the clock to a time when bands like Uriah Heep, Nazareth, Grand Funk and Humble Pie could be found dominating the airwaves. What's most interesting about Scorpion Child though isn't so much who they draw from, but rather who they stay clear of. Most retro bands that can be heard these days covet bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy. Listen in on Scorpion Child though and it's less about Led Zeppelin and more about group's like B.T.O., Ram Jam, Boston, Free, Ted Nugent, Mountain, Molly Hatchet, Rainbow and Free. For a band that features a Robert Plant-like lead singer the fact is these guys have more to do R.E.O. Speedwagon and Supertramp then they do with Led Zeppelin. Even so this self-titled album should easily appeal to fans of Zed Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy and the like. As these cuts start-up and then finish you're left with a feeling that Aryn Jonathan Black, who really does have the perfect set of pipes to lead a band like this, and company could have been transported right from the seventies to our front door. And, as they do steer clear of the usual retro-loving influences, this self-titled debut album is much more enjoyable. The way this Austin act flat-out rocks they should easily secure a spot in the personal music collections of heavy rock/hard rock fans.

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