gg-scarletToday’s music pick in the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide is a record I originally reviewed back in May by local favorites, Scarlet Revolt. The band has been in heavy rotation on The AIR and I’ve played just about every track from this album, Cold Town, on Radio Free Charleston.

The first album under their new name with a revised line-up, the former “Under Surveillance” sounds like a whole new band. Progressing beyond their heavily New Wave-inflected prior incarnation, Scarlet Revolt offers up a heavier sound that keeps the tight songwriting and ace musicianship, but adds a harder edge with elements of harder rock and heavy metal taking the band into more contemporary musical territory.

Cold Town shows the power of cross-pollination as the band has been touring extensively and sharing the stage with bands that play a variety of styles of music. The new songs show how Hatfield has learned to reach out to a myriad of new audiences, and how that has, in turn, fueled the band’s enthusiasm and energy.

Cold Town is a very high energy album. Eve Marcum-Atkinson’s vocals give the band a distinctive sound, with a more accomplished vocal style than most heavier-sounding bands feature. It also makes this album a bit hard to pigeonhole stylistically, which is a good sign that something new is being created here. Struggling to find a musical comparison, I would offer up the high praise that fans of Blue Oyster Cult will find a lot to love here.

This is the perfect gift for the local music lover, or anyone who enjoys harder-edged rock ‘n’ roll music. You can find Cold Town at our local record stores, or order it from Amazon. You could also head out to The Empty Glass on December 8 and buy a copy from the band in person. For a sample of the band’s powerful sound, check out the video for their song, “Bleed.”