Theia - ‘Back in Line’ (WDFD Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Monday, 03 July 2017 04:00

Theia artworkMy first thought coming into this review was that the album cover reminded me of the early covers by the Killer Dwarfs, which is indeed a compliment. This looks more like an album about having fun and letting loose, as opposed to an in-depth study of politics or social commentary. There is definitely room for both kinds of music to my ears. All that matters is if the music moves me in some way, and there are some really good things happening on this album.

 

I am not familiar with the band’s full length debut, so I cannot say if the band has changed, but a quick view of the video for ‘Whoop Dee Fucking Doo!’ tells me the band is continuing in a similar style. A brief western sounding intro lays the groundwork for first proper song, ‘My Poison’, which gets the party started in style. The band presenting a solid riff and the confident vocals of Kyle Lamley leading into a catchy chorus including the line “seven deadly sins, you know I’ve tasted every one.” The style is modern hard rock with many different elements included to create a unique sound. I am reminded of current bands like Jettblack and Black Spiders as well as a modern version of what the 80’s offered without sounding dated.

 

‘Whiskey Business’ does not meet the heights of the first song as I wish the chorus had more to it than a bunch of “na na na’s.” Musically, the song hits and really connects with me through the verse, but the repetition just leaves me disappointed. The title track ‘Back in Line’ introduces a relatively heavy groove with Paul Edwards (bass) and Jake Dalton (drums) doing a great job. Lamley’s vocals hit the spot here, and I am back on board with this song. For a three piece, they are able to conjure a powerful sound, but one of their challenges becomes apparent during this song. When the instruments have space to breathe, the sound is crystal clear, but the mix can become a bit muddy and loud when they all come together. This starts to get tiring as the record continues through the midpoint.

 

 

‘Just Go’ presents as a catchy hard rock sing along song built on a sturdy riff, bringing Black Stone Cherry to mind. The breakdown where the bass takes the front seat is cool and sets up a fist in the air and bang of the head before a subdued chorus comes. ‘Signed Sealed Cemented’ offers up something different with a cool approach to the chorus that takes advantage of the sledgehammer mix of the song. Musically, I am reminded of ‘Slave to the Grind’-era Skid Row. ‘Paper The House’ introduces a start/ stop beat that allows the song to take on a heavier vibe. Lamley shines on the vocals here, especially in the chorus where it is all him.

 

The acoustic ‘Sparkplug’ provides some diversity upon its opening and has some keyboard elements underneath the mix in the chorus. This song has a bit of an Alter Bridge feel and would be at home on a rock radio station with it remaining too heavy, even as a ballad, for it to crossover to mainstream pop radio. ‘Home’ also begins with acoustics and brings to mind Black Stone Cherry again. The lyrics are meaningful and discuss the journey one takes with his/ her significant other. I would have loved to have seen these two songs separated old school style in the tracklist with one on the front half and one on the back half. The album ends with the epic ‘Afterglow’ which starts with a bluesy riff before the full band joins. The band has made the ace in their proverbial sleeve the last song on the album. About a third of the way into the song, it transitions to full on electric with a swing beat that gets the listener moving.

 

First impression had me thinking this was going to be a full on party record, but it revealed some lyrical depth, through ‘Just Go’ addressing rape and the importance of family on ‘Home.’ I enjoyed the album and look forward to hearing more by them. I think they have a great album or two in them where everything will click, and it will be great to watch them continue to develop into a band that has the potential to make serious noise in the future.

 

‘Back in Line’ is out now. You can buy your copy HERE.

 

You can catch Theia on the following dates:

 

Friday 14 July – Burton Upon Trent, The Royal Oak

Saturday 15 July – Uttoxeter, Uttoxeter Rocks

Friday 21 July – Rochdale, Collop Gate Farm

Saturday 22 July – Burton Upon Trent, BurtonFest

Saturday 22 July – Cannock, Sempiternal Fest

Saturday 26 August – Northwich, Rockwich Unplugged

Saturday 2 September - Norwich, B2

Sunday 3 September – Camden, The Black Heart

Friday 8 September – Corby, The Hut

Saturday 9 September – Cannock, The Station

 

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