Scars From Rain – Birthright
Scars From Rain are kicking their music journey off with a bang after the release of their debut EP, Birthright! Punchy, weighty and powerful, but with a hint of emotion, the London based quintet have created a terrific debut effort featuring a diverse music range that sits them firmly within the alt-rock genre. Citing Alter Bridge, Seether and Three Days Grace as key influences, the band have much greatness to strive for, and a clear focus for their music. Yet in an already saturated and aging genre, can Scars From Rain be the band to breathe new life into it?
Heavy, groovy, and hard-hitting riffs are essential to any alt-rock band, and Scars From Rain have an abundance of these. Over You boasts the best riff on the EP. Intricate yet heavy, the main riff takes over much of the track, becoming a constant force to be reckoned with. All riffs on the EP are generally well developed as well. Never stagnating or becoming tired, they’re usually embellished with harmonies or a counter melody; or performed in a slightly different way, and these developments ensure the EP is entertaining throughout. The guitar tone helps bring these awesome riffs to life; edgy and distinctive, it cuts through the mix, sitting nicely alongside the more rounded tone of vocalist Mike King, who almost steals the whole show.
Delivered with passion, aggression, and immeasurable gravitas, the vocals really make Scars From Rain stand out from the crowd. Light Within My Misery sees King not only perform with power, but also create catchy melodies that help shape the song. When combined with the groove laden riffs in the track, Scars From Rain reach new heights of devastating musical impact. Unfortunately there are times when the tone of vocals doesn’t really fit with the music; King‘s powerful style is terrific when allowed to erupt into full force, but when he’s holding back in some of the verses, it sometimes lacks a grit, or tone that would really elevate these sections. Of course with such a diversified EP, it can be difficult to find a singer who naturally suits all styles (unless you’re Myles Kennedy of course), and his performance definitely shows potential.
With the influences they cite, it is perhaps unsurprising that along-side their 3 heavy as hell tracks, the band showcase a softer side to their music in the form of Paradise. The track is well constructed, building up to heavier sections, and climaxing in an explosive guitar solo, without losing sight of the meaning in the song. The musical peaks and troughs provide a solid platform for the delivery of an emotionally charged performance. However, in spite of all King’s efforts, it somewhat falls flat in this regard. The track somehow manages to sound formulaic, almost as though Scars From Rain decided they needed a ballad track on the EP, so wrote this. This makes it sound a bit a distant, rather than heartfelt, unique and sincere. Ultimately, it comes down to the band attempting to fit the genre, rather than creating music for their sake, and this is possibly the key criticism of the EP.
Overall, Birthright is undoubtedly a solid debut EP, showcasing many strengths to Scars From Rain, and it fits nicely into the alt-rock genre. Unfortunately, it possibly fits too nicely into the already saturated genre. A lot of the tracks sound formulaic and somewhat unoriginal. There is definitely talent in there; the riffs used are terrific; the transitions between varying textures are seamlessly executed; and with a bit of honing, King‘s vocals could be a devastating force in the music world. However, the band have work to do on finding their sound, before becoming real contenders.