Bernard – Trail of Tears (Spinach Records)

This heavy ‘rawk’ band features a female vocalist with a sweeter voice than expected from this genre. However it works on the more varied tracks shown here and still growls huskily for the angsty, violent lyrics that progress through the record. There is a twist of blues undertone to the heavy rock commitment as many of the songs break unexpectedly from yearning electric guitar solos into full power screeching metal, with interesting effects. This is most noticeable on ‘One Last Breath’. Overall it is a little repetitive, neither quite shockingly extreme nor soft rock. Instead it sits uncomfortably somewhere in the middle. Despite this, there are some strong stand-alone tracks. ‘Punky Fido’ especially, has catchy rhythms and a punk (almost pop) chorus that will do well on the dance floors. ‘A Welcome Home’ is the album ballad with its softer vocals and ‘Spider Web’ produces a SOAD-esque instrumental. Unlike the System Downers though, this is a bit too middle of the road, more Staind than shocking. The latter half of the record sees some more energetic beats which shows potential for their unusual blend of acoustic and heavier influences. Possibly OK, but not brilliant. RM (CMU)

Release Date 5 Jun

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