|Heaven's Basement - 'Filthy Empire' (Red Bull Records)|
|Written by Ross Welford|
|Monday, 04 February 2013 03:00|
You can't escape the fact the Heaven's Basement seem to be the 'unlucky ones' in British Rock - seemingly destined for a crack at the big time only for it to be ripped away at the last minute. First Hurricane Party, then Roadstar and now with Heaven's Basement, this band, whichever name you pick, just keep going and going.
The fact is that they also keep getting better and better and it would be a massive shame for them to be remembered for that fact only. I can see why people have left the band when the instant success or fame hasn't materialised but then that surely just adds to the belief that those left in their wake are even more determined to put themselves on the map.
Heaven's Basement are certainly deserving on the evidence of this record - a Canadian tour with Buckcherry booked, previous stints supporting Bon Jovi and Papa Roach under their belts and an appetite that doesn't stop all seems to pointing in one direction...... but then we've heard it all before.
'Welcome Home' comes barking out of the speakers with all the rabid intent of a possessed dog with ambitions to kill - a BIG song that immediately will put your views of them just going through the motions firmly into place.
'Fire, Fire' rolls up and takes its place immediately in your head - these boys are not here to gently slide into your affections, they're going for a sledgehammer to your heart. Big sound, big crunching riffs, big vocals and, quite simply, a great song.
'Nothing Left To Lose' is a more modern sounding rock song, less Skid Row more angry Fall Out Boy or MCR - it's yet another big sounding song. 'Lights Out In London' takes the foot off the gas yet still sees them banging your head into submission with a catchy chorus and makes them sound not a million miles away from Alter Bridge - maybe it's the big voice of Aaron Buchanan or maybe it's the guitar sound?
'The Long Goodbye' (along with 'Be Somebody') gets them into their Alter Bridge space and although I've always felt AB could be a touch boring, Heaven's Basement always give you a touch more to keep you interested. 'The Price We Pay' is the one track where they strip everything back and go acoustic to reveal a side that stands out as equally as their bombast and bonhomie; classic ballad without trying to be anything else makes a nice refreshing change. 'Jump Back' has an almost Rolling Stones vibe running throughout - not easy to pull off for anybody and the soulful vibe is a welcome addition.
'Executioners Day' rounds off the album and is an old(ish) track from their earlier EP and one that's been in their set a while now - it proved a winner at High Voltage festival when they were cutting their new singer teeth and it still packs a punch.
If you want lightweight feelings and a relaxing meander into classic rock territory, don't bother listening (one review I read of this album described the vocals as too loud or too much - I can't remember Seb Bach restraining himself from a big note, can you? - too loud, too old methinks?). If you want a band trying to prove their worth, trying to grab you by the scruff of the neck and simply trying to rock hard then you'd be foolish not to try and enter their 'Filthy Empire'.