Produced, engineered, and mixed by Matt Elliss (Massive Wagons/Black Spiders) at Axis Studio, Doncaster. Artwork by Andy Pilkington at Very Metal Art. Managed by Raz White (Upstage Limited).
Self released on Friday 15 September 2023.
For fans of Foo Fighters, The Wildhearts, Metallica, Danko Jones.
Out of Darkness (2023) is the debut album from West Lothian, Scotland’s rock group She Burns Red, recent winners of Planet Rock’s ‘The New Rock Show’ track of the week.
Hope, trust and humanity are not just words, it’s everything we’re fighting for, it’s everything we are.— She Burns Red
Turning heads since the release of their acclaimed debut EP Take Back Tomorrow (2020) – produced by Toby Jepson (Wayward Sons, Little Angels, and Planet Rock DJ) – Scottish rock band She Burns Red are finally ready to release their highly anticipated debut album following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign which saw them smash their target within 48 hours of launch.
The upcoming album, Out of Darkness (2023), is filled with gritty, feral-infused slabs of hard, crunching rhythms and standard rock anthems. Riffs go wild, melodies are plentiful.
This is a fine rock album that is further enhanced by an almost perfect mix. It has an energetic, punchy, in-your-face immediacy. The songs are catchy, the performance is flawless, and the front cover artwork is glorious. And they’re Scottish! It really is hard to find fault with anything on this release.
The album opens with “Touch” (track 1), a thumpingly heavy album opener that gets the blood pumping and head nodding. If there were any questions about whether this band plays fast and loose, straight off the blocks this track refutes it: this band is tight. Riffs are played with precision, accompanying guitar flourishes provide just the right amount of flavour and Moore’s vocals offer the perfect balance of melody and edge.
“Rise and fall” (track 2) follows in a similar vein, with a tight, bouncing bass riff and a catchy melody that weaves in between and around the instruments while Hanlon’s drums pound a steady beat. And check out the guitar solo within a minute of the end—brilliant!
“Crosshairs” (track 4) has a very Foo Fighters vibe to it. It is almost anthemic in its simplicity. I’d love to see this track performed live. Oddly, it reminds me most of the later catalogue of mid-90s Christian rock sensation Delirious?. It has a solid rock beat and showcases Moore’s vocals to the max. The post-punk melodic chorus is particularly pleasing, and I swear the song gets more melodic and catchier
“Heavy is the dead” (track 5) opens with a pleasing descending melody played on guitar before settling into a rattling, driving riff. In an album of strong songs, I feel that this is one of the weaker ones, buried as a deep cut in the middle of the album. Still, it’s all relative, this is a strong rock song with a satisfyingly melodic guitar solo.
Perhaps predictably, “Run” (track 6) brings things down a notch with a slower paced, but fiendishly heavy almost-ballad. This is another that falls into the ‘Reminds me of somewhere between the Foo Fighters and Delirious?’ camp. The song is built around a pleasingly bouncy bass riff that acts as a backbone for the whole track. When I played bass in a couple of bands, it was bass lines like this that I longed to find: something that would power through the track from start to finish. This is definitely a contender for my favourite track on the album.
“Stronger” (track 7) has a bit of a start/stop intro before exploding into the most triumphant, anthemic track on this release. Play this when you feel low and need cheered up. Play this when you need to be pumped up for some sporting event. Play this when you’re tearing down the motorway at 70mph. I don’t care, just play it! It will make your day better whatever the situation, whatever the weather, whatever your mood.
Riffs like the one that open “Crack the sky” (track 8) could probably physically crack the sky—a splendid mix of catchy melody and crushing heaviness. The subtle harmonious guitar work is particularly pleasing on this track. Don’t be surprised, though, by the sudden change of direction that the chorus takes. This is another song that firmly belongs filed under ‘anthemic’.
The final track, “Out of darkness” (track 9), pulls no surprises, though. By this point in the album, She Burns Red have openly placed their cards on the table, and they play this track to perfection—the wide open chords, the emotional, energic melodies that run deep and linger long after the album has ended.
The only problem with this album is after the final track rings out… I just want more. This is by far my feel good album of the summer. With the unprecedently hot summer that we’ve been experiencing, though, let’s hope that their line “No one’s getting out of here alive” isn’t literal.
Blending hard rock with an alternative vibe with punk and pop smarts; She Burns Red have delivered an album that is energetic, emotional, anthemic and at all times, authentic.
Out of Darkness (2023) is a guitar rock album that sits comfortably between melody and heaviness without getting lost in complex sonics and confusing musicalities. It is immediate, it is exciting, it is fun.
Check it out!
Review score: 95%
Stampede Press UK contacted me inviting me to preview She Burns Red’s forthcoming album, thank you. I have no connections to either Stampede Press UK or She Burns Red. I’m not being paid to review this, but I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Rob from Stampede Press UK, and to She Burns Red for continuing to create fresh, exciting new music.