Review by Zoe Biggs
Rews have been on my radar for a while, an inexplicable ‘I can’t remember where I first heard them but they’re instantly familiar’ feeling. So when we were lucky enough to be on the same bill as this raucous rock duo at an all-dayer back in freezing December, I couldn’t wait to catch them live. However, a live review this is not, but I will urge you to indeed catch them on stage – fun, engaging, top musicianship, tight harmonies – they’ve got it all covered. And their UK tour kicks off at the end of February, so what are you waiting for? Well, actually while you do wait for the live dates to come around you can listen to their ‘just as powerful as live performance’ debut album ‘Pyro’.
Kicking off the proceedings is the Halestorm-esque ‘Let It Roll’, grabbing you instantly with catchy vocals and riffs, and a beat so head nodding inducing that it’s tailor made for audience participation of the clap along variety. The start of ‘Rip Up My Heart’ had me thinking of American rockers Girl In A Coma, and on the song Rews put their own unique spin on that heavy and visceral sound.
Third song ‘Violins’ is the next earworm to hit. The verses are exceptional and Shauna (vocals/guitar/keys) and Collette’s (vocals/drums) collective vocals really shine here, playing off each other perfectly. Just the right mixture of raw attitude and conciseness to carry the track through. The musicianship on ‘Shine’ brings to mind comparisons to Muse. The sound is just so huge, full and powerful on this song that it’s a real testament to not only Rews but also to Rob Cass who produced and mixed the album.
There are hints of a hazy 90s vibe to ‘Death Yawn’, with guitars reminiscent of early Foo Fighters, and bright vocals keeping the track interesting through to the last second. Those harmonies! Lush, layered and so on point. They carry on over to next offering ‘Miss You In The Dark’ with tribal and heavy drums driving dark chant vocals defiantly proclaiming ‘you can’t break me down’. ‘Your Tears’ contains the same sentiments as the previous track; ‘your tears, I won’t catch them no, as they fall straight from your eyes’ seeing both vocalists playing off each other again, building from the big singalong chorus to the twist of the breakdown adding that something a little bit extra to this riff driven song.
‘We Explode’ offers up a quirk in the works, one of my favourites on the album. There is a looming riff that sneaks up on you throughout the song, there are twists and turns, call and answer vocals that could make you dizzy if you try and sing along to all the parts…The chorus hits and there’s that riff again, lurking ominously and then exploding in the last seconds into glorious fuzz. ‘Shake Shake’ is no nonsense 3 minutes and 34 seconds of, get up, dance and shout those lyrics at the top of your voice to block out the real world. Final tune ‘Running Against The Wall’ ties in all the elements of the whole album nicely. There are driving and quirky drums, accelerating guitar riffs, Tegan & Sara-esque harmonies, and a brilliant abrupt ending that leaves you ready and waiting for the next album.
I didn’t mean for this to be a blow by blow account of ‘Pyro’, but the more I listened, the more I heard and the more I just had to write about this fun, powerful and hook packed debut from Rews. As ever, check it out and endeavour to also catch them live.
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