RSS Feed


Escape Music (2014)
Rating: 8.5/10

Blimey, these Lawless boys don’t hang about; it only seems like a few months ago I was praising their solid debut album Rock Savage, and now the boys are back for another bite.

For those who never saw my review from the 2013 opus, then let me quickly fill you in by saying that Lawless is a mighty fine UK rock band from Stoke-On-Trent, featuring Demon members Paul Hume (vocals / guitar) and Neil Ogden (drums), alongside former Persian Risk guitarist Howie G. and HeadrusH bass basher Josh Williams.

Lawless is basically a straight up melodic metal act that will appeal to fans of all good, traditional 80s metal. So, if you like Ronnie James Dio and Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath then you’ll lap up the Britishness of this hard, driving sophomore effort. However, it’s not just a record full of grit and determination; the band also provides harder edged anthems which have more in common with 80s US giants such as Dokken.

The sound is formed around those cool, weighty guitar licks of Howie G., who takes tracks such as ‘Pain’ by the scruff of the neck and turns them into brooding masterpieces – the crunchy nature of the riffs reminding one of George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) as they develop.

With R.I.S.E, I expected to hear ballsy rock to the maximum, and that’s what I got; ‘Rise’ seems to take the melody of The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ initially and metalize it, and by the time we come into that simple, chanted chorus we’re finding ourselves wrapped up in a fiery dose of British metal, hinting at the likes of Saxon too.

Nothing beats a hard slab of defiant rock which unites fans and casts off sweat by the bucket load, and as the tracks keep on unfolding in their metallic glory it’s clear that the way to the heart is via such unassuming heaviness. ‘Twisted And Burned’ chugs with menace, but in contrast ‘Song For A Friend’ offers subtlety, again hinting at Dio at his most majestic.

Elsewhere, there’s the bluesy acoustic swagger of ‘Kiss My Glass’, the mid-tempo fire of ‘Dead Man Walking’, and my favourite brace of tracks being the steady powerhouse of nod of ‘How Long’, where Hume excels himself vocally, and the bass-led churn of ‘Is This The End Of The World?’, which is a classy slice of energetic rock.

In a sense I knew what was coming with R.I.S.E, but there are times when consistency is such a major factor, so I’m thankful that no frills heavy rock bands such as Lawless exist to remind us just how earthy and molten British metal is. Hopefully, R.I.S.E is the start of something big for this quartet and that a steady rise to power will eventually give Lawless the success they deserve.

Neil Arnold

<< Back to Album & EP Reviews