|Spill Sixteen - 'Let It All Hang Out' (Self Released)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Thursday, 22 November 2012 04:30|
The planets appear to have aligned for Spill Sixteen. Since forming in 2010 the band seemed to be on a steady path, gaining momentum with a slew of support slots with celebrated bands. Now, suddenly, the members of this UK outfit find themselves on a rapid upward trajectory, with gigs supporting the Electric Boys and at the famous 100 Club almost overshadowed by the announcement that they will appear at next year's inaugural HRH AOR festival alongside the likes of Tesla, Skid Row and Danny Vaughn.
If that wasn't enough, the band are now about to unleash a debut album of such high quality that you'd be excused for not believing the guys when they tell you that they did it all themselves, with not a kick start or a pledge in sight.
Spill Sixteen should take great pride in the slick long player that they have fashioned, but wait, this isn't a pat on the back for a band who have turned in something decent and should be humoured into thinking that it's as good as certain 'name' bands - it is as good. In fact, when compared to some of the turgid, instantly forgettable dross that is scraped off the bottom of someone's shoe and left in the URHQ promo box, 'Let It All Hang Out' really punches above its weight, ready to fight to survive amongst the bigger game.
The melodic rock sub-genre is a funny old place, filled with either dated cheese that would put a glass eye to sleep or with massive riffs and harmonies that would rattle the rafters of any stadium given half the chance - Spill Sixteen's dirty dozen tracks on this impressive debut don't fall, they leap like a gazelle from the wanton jaws of a lion into the latter category.
With a foot in the past via a definite '70s rock influence, and a hoof in the present with the fusing of Black Stone Cherry style riffmongery to modern arena rock hooks, Spill Sixteen might be treading a well-worn path musically, but it is a path that is walked by many happy travellers, seduced into taking solace in the sweet 'n' soulful sounds of the blessed.
Music fans who love nothing more than a memorable hook over a slab of heaving guitar need look no further in their quest for a new band to adore. 'Let It All Hang Out' is a Frankenstein's monster of sounds and influences, few of them shabby. An early Aerosmith style riff might hang over a simple yet effective chorus that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Little Angels album. A Bad Company guitar lick might suddenly morph into a Thunder-esque grin-inducer of a rock out tune. An '80s hair metal vein might be sliced open by a stinging vocal and suddenly bleed out into a Little Caesar style workout, harking back to the time when the cock rock boyz discovered piano and harmonica and the like and got good.
'Come With Me' is the album's lead track for a reason - it motors along like a old school stolen Cortina - but there are several tracks on offer here that could easily have taken its place at the head of the queue: 'Lovedrunk' is a great tune, as is 'All The Same', while 'By You' reminds me of The Quireboys in debut album mode in a drunken fight with The Grip over who could write the best melody. Want a ballad? Of course you do, what would a melodic rock album be without one? Incomplete, that's what. 'You Make Me Cry', Spill Sixteen's tearjerker of a track, lays a great vocal gently over a piano haunted by some Handbags and Gladrags (Rod version, of course) and is a certified winner. These boys won't go home alone come gig end if they've played this one live.
'Let It All Hang Out' is proof that young bands need more than just talent to get things done; Spill Sixteen, without begging for handouts, without getting their financial hearts kickstarted, without claiming to be DIY when everything has been done for them, have produced an album that shines. All you need is a hunger...and pride.
All you need is this album.