Rews – Pyro (Marshall Records) 
Rews - Pyro

Release Date: 3rd November 2017

As debut albums go, this offering from London/Belfast duo Rews is pretty immense in every sense of the word. The riffs are immense, the drums are immense, the hooks are bloody immense and as for its potential importance, well, more on that later (spoiler alert, it’s immensely important). The album opens with the heavy and hard riffing of ‘Let It Roll’ which bounces along during the chorus like a pop-rock child with mischief at its heart but that chorus kicks in and you can already hear this blaring out across a sea of fans singing this right back at the pair. ‘Rip Up My Heart’ has a Suzi Quattro vibe to it, all leather, motorbikes and lip-curls as the beat takes a bit of punk, a bit of glam and a whole lotta rock – Guitarist and Vocalist Shauna Tohill also manages to make her voice sound like a flute in the quieter moments of the chorus which freaks me out every time.

Things drop down a notch at the opening of ‘Violins’ as the duo stray in to the territory of contemporaries Berries and Deux Furieuses with dark guitar chugs and rolling, thunderous drums. It is, however, on ‘Shine’ that my loyalty to Rews is sealed as an angular yet circular riff chugs in to view over the horizon and those Royal Blood and Queens of the Stone Age vibes are at the wheel giving us power, intensity and, most crucially, a bucket load of melody to worm in to our collective ears. ‘Death Yawn’ is a little lighter than some of the other tracks but has an intensity and bite to it that reminds me of Hole or Veruca Salt in their prime and could be a very radio friendly cross-over single.

The low thud and rumble of ‘Miss You in the Dark’ creates the perfect atmosphere for mischief as the duo combine their obvious rock chops with the kind of pop melodies that the likes of Pink, Taylor Swift and Little Mix would kill for (literally, I’ve seen Little Mix punch a badger to get to the front of the melody queue). And this, dear reader, is where the importance of this album comes in because for a whole generation currently being force-fed the battery farmed pop comfort food of the Heart FM playlist, this album offers a way out. Think of Rews, if you will, as a gateway drug in to the altogether more mind-expanding world of rock with all of its derivatives and the connecting element being those infectious melodies. Don’t take this lightly, there are tracks on this album (most of them in fact) that would stand up very well to a dance remix and could find themselves squeezed in to keep fit classes, night-clubs and reality TV montages and, before you know it, people are singing along in the queue for the McDonald’s drive-thru.

Rews - seemingly after an argument
Anyway, world domination there are four more tracks to take in, starting with excellent recent single ‘Your Tears’ which has a very definite and confident indie swagger about it that is very much in the ballpark of giving your ex the middle finger as you speed off in to the sunset with the best bits of the shared CD collection whilst looking awesome. Break up songs don’t come much more ballsy than this. ‘We Explode’ explores a bit more of that rhythmic side that makes Rews so original giving the verse and chorus very different beats to clearly define the difference. You could argue that ‘Shake Shake’ is the weak link on the album as it is essentially a straight piece of indie-rock that Kelly Clarkson wouldn’t sound out of place on but I bet my bottom dollar that this is an absolute stonker live.

This impressive debut, ‘Pyro’ by the way, closes on ‘Running Against The Wall’ which has the darkest spirit of all the songs. The double tracked vocals give this an otherworldly sense of malevolence but you can’t help but be sucked in to that offbeat rhythm like a siren call and then, bang, you’re dashed on the rocks of a Slash-esque piece of guitar work and all hope is lost. So, in a nutshell, I’m sticking with immense. I don’t really do tips for the forthcoming year as I think tastes and moods change so much but with this album, these songs, a great live show and a great team behind them I would put a fair few quid on Rews to be all over the place in 2018….if I was a betting man. Which I’m not. Although…….

Live Dates:

8th November – The Wheatsheaf, Oxford
9th November – Epic Studio, Norwich
10th November – The Soundhouse, Leicester
11th November – Esquires, Bedford
15th November – The Greystones, Sheffield
16th November – Fibbers, York
17th November – The Met, Bury
18th November – The Lincoln Imp, Scunthorpe
22nd November – The Horn, St Albans
23rd November – The Forum, Kent
24th November – The Face Bar, Reading
25th November – Actress & Bishop, Birmingham
29th November – Old Blue Last, London
30th November – Gwdihw, Cardiff
1st December – Mr Wolf’s, Bristol

2nd December – West End Centre, Aldershot