SkyBurnsRed are a group of promising young guns from Swindon. Who seem to have hit the UK music scene at a run after starting only in 2010! The line up consisting of Jase Johnson (Vox, Guitar), Michael Bowditch (Bass), Laura Williams (Violin) and James Gray (drums) have already recorded two EP’s ‘ Madness and Reason’ and ‘Who Are You’, the former is their first official EP, at the Vale Studios. They also regularly feature on BBC Wiltshire Introducing and have had a recent gig at the Indigo2 at London’s O2 arena. With an edgy classical sound over electrifying and serious grungier Indie rock akin to Kings of Leon or Soundgarden, SkyBurnsRed create a signature sound that is at once haunting and gripping. That’s What She Heard reviews their EP Madness & Reason.
With a punchy sweeping string orchestral start, Lost at Sea becomes an instantly haunting and dramatic melody. The track feels like restrained electricity and anger rolling under a crashing tidal wave. Like dark energy and danger, the track builds while overlaying a brightness that pulls you into the Goo Goo Dolls sounding vocals. Before diving into a final anthemic peak that feels like a shot of pure excitement. Paralysed Lullabies on the other hand, is a slowly swaying, darkly, hypnotic and lulling track. Like desert sands and secrets the empathetic guitar solo and the mix of strings at the very beginning tie into the first phrase, before peaking with the full orchestra. This is followed by a full, strong vocal and a chaotic contrasting sound, one that has all the suddenness of the onslaught of an oncoming storm striking. The contrast between this and the smoothness of the recurring string accompaniment, makes this track feel like you are hearing sheer madness under a layer of sanity. Making the track sound as if it were exactly as the title suggests – a twisted childs lullaby. The ending phrasing is an exotic mix of abrasive guitar and minor melodies that winks at abandon and pulls at the strength of the arrangement to bring the song to a satisfying close.
Monochrome starts simpler, building slower to what feels like constructed chaos. As with the previous two tracks there is a classic electrical current of energy throughout, contrasting with a gentle layer of peaceful melodic minor currents. Yet within Monochrome there is a sense of the tug twist and pull of an internal fight. Added to by the fact that the vocal is slightly more grating which adds to it a roughness and raw energy. The song feels tamer, with gentler string melodic breaks layered over muted pressure cooker baselines, to give a quieter more potent feel. The rise and fall, the stripped back feel of the vocal contrasted against the heavy instrumental backing, gives the track an endless ‘peak’. Apart from the beginning and the heavy string punch at the end, the track starts and continues on a tightrope edge until the final acoustic last word.
The following track, Xray Cat is a little spicier (has an odd title (not going to lie)). Yet has a very nineties grunge feel almost like Soundgarden or Audioslave. With added Nirvana esque riffs and basses. There is a desperation here in the vocals that creates a feel of a last reaching grasp of a loved one or of sanity, which contrasts against powerful instrumental solos that feel like a shot of adrenaline caught under your skin. The track itself feels more like a throwback to ‘soft punk’. With a layer of aggression and abrasion curtailed suddenly by the way the track ends: swaying and gentle. Different and pleasing in the way that it challenges the current status quo of atypical itunes ‘acceptable music’. This would sound amazing live, even if covered by half the string section played.
The last, but by no means least track on the EP is M&I. A calmer entity altogether. With a looser Nirvana-esque feel that is by no means any less dramatic. There is a ghostly, gentle tone to the track with a raw feel to the vocals that is heard even more clearly by a quieter accompaniment from the instrumental (a nearly silent, beautiful pizzicato) that builds in layers until it builds to a crescendo of emotion and sound, with the rest of the orchestral instrumental. With a feeling akin to destruction (maybe self destruction -‘save me from myself’) the lyrics and the orchestra breaks in to this once gentle sound like it’s running and crashing though the darkness. Almost leaving the listener reeling as the track twists seemingly in an instant from electrically charged chaos to haunting smooth melody.
Let’s just say That’s What She Heard is a fan, we look forward to hearing more!