Whiskey Scenario – Bullet on the Rocks
Release Date: 04/07/23
Running Time: 22:20
Review by Simon Black
Good old fashioned Hard Rock is having something of a renaissance at the moment, but to be fair it’s never really gone away. Few other styles of music can cross the aisles through the endless plethora of sub-genres that exist these days in the arena of heavy music, or indeed can cross the generations in quite the same way and it will always find an audience as long as you keep the roots and the groove.
Whiskey Scenario is the brainchild of two lads who have been friends for decades, played in bands when they were strapping youths, but were then divided by forced relocation to disparate parts of the continental USA. Cross-continental bands aren’t the easiest thing to start from scratch, but then Covid changed all that and writing and remotely recording is not such a ridiculous notion in these days and this six track EP is the result. It’s always impressive that this ever gets delivered at the best of the times, and so credit where credit’s due just for getting the thing written and recorded under those conditions. The fact that the players had worked together face to face in the past helps, but remote production is not without its challenges…
Musically the six songs resented are quite a mixed bag though. Part of the challenge with only having one instrumentalist playing everything in the mix is that you miss out on the chemistry and groove that’s a fundamental part of what happens in this style of playing when a bunch of like-minded musos start bouncing off each other in the same room. Clearly this is never going to happen in the remote scenario, which is a shame because it’s that spark of energy that this EP is missing in places. In all other respects this is something of a belter however…
Ben Rosebrough has a fantastically soulful timbre to his voice that you can tell is going to work well in a live environment, and Jake Then deserves a medal just for covering everything else on his own. He can certainly play, and between them the song writing is crisp and punchy and it’s a pity that that frisson of energy and sizzle that this sort of music can’t help but generate in rehearsals or on stage doesn’t always make it onto the recordings. This band also have enough of a tinge of heaviness that is going to appeal to the more Metal crowd too and when they get the balance right, they do so right in the back of the net (‘Death By Machine’ in particular is the song I keep coming back to). This is never easy under these conditions and it’s a solid enough starting point, but just having one instrumentalist does sometimes flatten what should be some rip-roaring delivery. That said, there’s a shit load of potential here, and you can’t fault the quality of the writing and playing.
01. Bad News
02. Bullet on the Rocks
03. Brave New World
04. Read ‘Em and Weep
05. The Horsemen Ride
06. Death By Machine
Ben Rosebrough – Vocals
Jake Then – All Instruments
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