Hailing from Austin, Texas, Scorpion Child are bringing together psych and stoner Rock with a modernised twist. Since their self-titled debut album back in 2013, the band haven’t gone unnoticed, and have been involved in extensive worldwide tours alongside the likes of Monster Magnet, Clutch and Crobot, before announcing their latest album, Acid Roulette, set for release on Friday 10th June 2016.
It’s inevitable that every band will have to face some form of change or obstacle at some point in their career, and these pinnacle moments are often what can make and break a band. Since their last album, the band has undergone some major alterations to the line-up, which includes a new guitarist, drummer and bassist, and the addition of a keyboardist. Despite these changes, the band have persevered and the latest album proves to be a triumphant follow-up to their debut release.
It’s safe to say that Acid Roulette makes up for this from the word ‘go’… While there are some songs that provide more of a mellow stoner rock vibe, many of the tracks on Acid Roulette pack a lot more ‘high octane’ attitude into their sound. The melodic, high tone vocals provided by Aryn are part of what has made the band’s sound so unique, but in a way the potency of Aryn’s voice overshadowed many of the other elements on the previous album.
The opening track to Acid Roulette, She Sings, I Kill, thunders in as a demonstration of how well synchronised the band have become over the past few months together. Every element of the band has strengthened, and more importantly, works in a way that complements each member.
My Woman In Black shows the heavier direction the band seem to be pursuing, largely as a result of the bands new line-up. The bass and drum work in unison to develop a hefty bad-ass beat, while the guitar contains a lot less solo distortion, giving the track a lot more ferocity against the vocals. I found the lyrical direction to be quite hit-and-miss, as there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of substance to what was being sung, more a collection of ‘what fits’ verses, but fortunately this was saved by how flawless the track itself came across.
Title-track, Acid Roulette, give AJ (heavy keys) the opportunity to show his presence in the band, with an incredibly old school keyboard solo coupled with a heavy rock riff, that would give Deep Purple a run for their money.The introduction of keyboardist AJ Vincent has definitely provided a much more dynamic sound, with a greater depth and energy, which is also proven on Addiction (heads up, don’t be fooled by the soothing sounds of the ocean at the end of the track, there’s a surprise at the end that nearly made me crap my pants).
Might Be Your Man opens with the drawn-out tone of the keys, before being accompanied by boisterous vocals and dirty guitar riffs, both stabilized by rapid-fire drums and fierce percussion.
My thoughts are that once a band becomes established and their name is out there, there’s a pressure not to stray too far from the path in order to retain the fan base they’ve already developed. After listening to Acid Roulette, it’s immediately clear that their unique interpretation of psychedelic rock remains firmly locked on-track, and if anything, their sound seems stronger than ever.
As many new artists of this generation are, Scorpion Child have been compared against numerous early-era Rock artists that have shaped the sound that Scorpion Child are portraying. While influences can undoubtedly be heard through this album, I also believe that Scorpion Child have made a huge step in defining themselves, and bringing something fresh to the psychedelic rock genre.
Recommended Track – Twilight Coven
This track is non-stop energy from start to finish. With it’s fuzzy guitar riffs, bludgeoning drums and catchy, upbeat chorus, this is a track that could get the soberest guy at the gig pushing his way to the barrier.
Aryn Jonathan Black – Vocals
Christopher Jay Coward – Lead Guitar
Jon “Charn” Rice – Percussion
Alec “Mexecutioner” Padron – Bass Guitar
Aaron John “AJ” Vincent – Heavy Keys
She Sings, I Kill
My Woman In Black
Winter Side Of Deranged
Blind Man’s Shine
I Might Be Your Man