PopCult CD Review
Scarlet Revolt is the next evolution of the band formerly known as “Under Surveillance.” With a change of drummers and a more agressive attitude, “Cold Town marks a bold new direction for a bold musical force with a stunning new take on Poe’s The Raven among the powerful songs on this re-debut album.
Progessing 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.
With all but one song written by guitarist Philip Hatfield, “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.
Standout tracks include the title song, “Cold Town, “Bleed,” a wild song based on Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, and “Secrets,” which retains some of the old Under Surveillance New Wave edge while still cranking up the rock quotient a bit. There isn’t a bum song in the bunch, which is a rare thing these days.
“Cold Town” is a great album from top to bottom. The rhythm second of Phil Crace and new drummer, C.J. Davis anchor Scarlet Revolt, making for a band that’s the complete package, with chops, great vocals and solid songwriting.
Scarlet Revolt will be hosting a premiere party for the video for their song “Bleed” Sunday at The Empty Glass. There’s no cover and festivities begin at 7 PM. You can purchase the “Cold Town” CD there, or order it from Amazon or other online retailers. PopCult will keep you posted on their other upcoming local shows.
You can also hear Scarlet Revolt’s songs on The AIR, as part of Radio Free Charleston (Tuesdays at 10 AM and 10 PM) and in the New Music Show rotation each weekday at 6 PM. And look for more CD reviews in PopCult in the coming weeks.