These Wicked Rivers EP ‘II’
- Wicked River Blues
- Stones Painted Gold
- That Girl
- When The War Is Won
- Put Me On Trial (For Who I Am)
- Don’t Pray For Me
These Wicked Rivers are: John Hartwell – Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, Arran Day – Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals, Jon Hallam – Bass and Dan Southall – Drums.
Derby rockers These Wicked Rivers have raised the bar on their new EP ‘II’ Formed in early 2014 this band has developed into a striking rock four piece that deserves to be recognised. This new EP delivers the solid band performance that old fans already know about and new fans will relish. The EP will be released on April 28th
Opening track “Wicked River Blues” finds the band sounding more in pace with The Blind Boys of Alabama, and it works as this great, soulful, vocal introduction to the EP entices the listener to hear more. The chain-gang chants making the statement that this band has arrived.
We are treated to the first of the great riffs on the EP with “Stones Painted Gold” A hard rocking number that hits you straight in the face. I love the way that the track changes pace in an almost eerie fashion only to hit back at you with an excellent lead guitar break. It’s a true ‘hell yeah’ moment.
“That Girl” with its heavy rocking riff is next. This is the track that will rock you live. Thunderous drumming from Dan Southall as vocalist John Hartwell screams “well you know I’d cross that line…” true brilliance.
“When The War Is Won” reveals the quieter side to These Wicked Rivers, Starting off like a cross between early Maiden and Black Sabbath as the track builds in atmosphere. The playing here is sublime. John Hartwell sings “I can walk with my head held high” Yes John, you really can.
John Hartwell sings “I can walk with my head held high” Yes John, you really can.
Another scorching riff opens “Testify” Structured bass work from Jon Hallam weaves around some mesmerising guitar playing from John Hartwell and Arran Day. Thumping riffs and powerful vocals drive this beast of a song on a hard rock journey to rock heaven (or should that be hell?)
“Put Me On Trial (For Who I Am)” has vocalist John standing his ground and justifying what he is and what he’s done. This is a real kick in the guts rocking track with a chorus line you will keep in your head forever. “Put Me On Trial (For Who I Am)” is the ‘kick arse’ track on the EP and shows just how well these guys can rock.
Closing track “Don’t Pray For Me” is singer John Hartwell’s confession. The track begins with the sound of an organ as John admits his sins to the listener. The track builds majestically as we are ordered not to pray for him. This track is by far the stand out track here. The playing is masterful, the structure is astounding and the lyrics are heartbreakingly beautiful. The track even has echoes of Skynyrd/Blackfoot as the heaviness rips you wide open. This is, for me, the best track on the EP.
These Wicked Rivers EP ‘II’ has got to be heard. During the writing of this review I had to move the line ” This is, for me, the best track on the EP” several times, it is that good.
During the writing of this review I had to move the line ” This is, for me, the best track on the EP” several times, it is that good.
2017 should be the year for These Wicked Rivers, they have an opening slot for Tax The Heat as well as appearing on the bill of several festivals including the Derby 2Q Festival. Listen to this EP, no, better still, buy this EP and you will discover a band that you will want to follow for years to come..
Pete Devine Pete’s Rock News and Views .com April 2017
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