RavenEye - RavenEye
Oli Brown may be a name you’re familiar with. The hotly tipped and highly respected young blues guitarist has supported the likes of Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter and Joe Satriani and, after releasing four well received solo albums has taken the next logical step.
In a move akin to Cream in many respects, a musician enveloped in public reverence has joined forces with a drummer and bass player who themselves are known figures in the music world. The results of this collision of minds, powers and souls is scorching.
Kev Hickman’s drum cover videos have won him a legion of fans and clocked up over 300,000 views on Youtube. Aussie bassist Aaron Spires – who appears features on Hickman’s cover of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers classic Around The World – also has solo albums to his name and has even scored several orchestral pieces.
And so this isn’t so much a trio of fresh faced nobodies ready to prove themselves to the on looking world – this is a ménage a trois of prodigious talent joining forces with the intention of conquering your heart and thrusting their careers to a much deserved zenith.
How often do you see an impressive solo artist – be they a singer, guitarist or otherwise – and crave to see them in a multi-faceted band? Where, in their previous projects the artists in question have been the central figure and driving force, with RavenEye, the personnel here feeds off one another’s talents wonderfully and the complete package is so much better for it.
Opening track Breaking Out has their mission statement slapped all over it; filthy, fuzzy guitars, rattling bass work and sexy yet menacing drums all underpinned by Brown’s emphatic vocals which can be both gently gorgeous and rough and rasping in the same breath. The track seers with energy, the chorus that it revolves around quite simply a triumph of rock n’ roll.
Hey Hey Yeah is robed in purring melodies and a sassy rhythm that engrosses you from the off. It’s fun, it makes you dance and it makes you smile. You just can’t fault it. Brown’s solo here channels the incendiary playing of Joe Bonamassa and the rhythm section brings the whole thing to life; it stampedes your speakers.
Runaway meanwhile, injects an added dimension to the EP. After three punchy numbers, the more laid back, heartfelt and translucent piece, where once more a soaring and emotive chorus is its centre of gravity, is the perfect cocktail to keep the momentum churning without it getting old hat.
The problem that this band will inevitably face is that – as emphasised with their inclusion on the bill for Blues Pills’ upcoming UK tour – they could very easily get lost in the ever-growing crowd of bands playing retro infused blues rock. With Blues Pills’ sensational vocalist and alluring relatability they have separated themselves from the pack by proving they are more than just another revivalist band. RavenEye have a similarly explosive sprinkling of gunpowder in their ranks – every musician has a total command of their instrument, their song writing abilities as strong as an ox on steroids and the feel, something which can never, ever be understated, always runs deep. The songs are lavish without ever being too much, too egotistically driven; there is a magic palpable in these songs.
RavenEye have a real promise.
Words: Phil Weller
For more info on the EP and their tour with Blues Pills, head to www.raveneyeofficial.com