RavenEye - Nova
A solid record that captures the band’s fiery blood flow
Words: Phil Weller
Oli Brown is a bright spark helping further ignite Modern British Blues – a scene by no means barren with talent and followers – with Mojo Magazine once heralding him as “the hottest young pistol in British blues”. But, after touring the world playing the blues alongside figures as iconic and pivotal as Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Joe Satriani and the late Johnny Winter, he stepped aside from life as a solo artist to form a proper rock band, a power trio. A three pronged attack with each point as sharp and vital as the last. Like Joe Bonamassa’s stint in Black Country Communion, such an outlet has refined Brown’s guitar playing, giving him a tighter focus where he provides a wheel in a greater machine, an actor in a play as opposed to a one-man show. Two years into life, and with new drummer Adam Breeze helping usher in their next chapter, the resulting band, RavenEye, release their first full length effort in Nova.
Though their history has been short, it has been positively sweet too, with tours with Slash, Deep Purple, The Darkness and The Blues Pills across several continents under their belts. But what is both interesting and entertaining about RavenEye is that, despite the strict hard rock/blues guise of those bands, Oli Brown is fronting an act that dips its toes into more than just that; from fuzz addled stoner to slow, grinding doom elements, their approach is multi-faceted, nuanced and dangerous.
I Wanna Feel You is a big, slow and droning thump in which the album cascades down from – the action packed first scene before the opening credits. Brown’s vocals levitate between a smooth, soulful and brooding purr and a rasping, Robert Plant like squeal; the song’s bridge riff an equally as Zeppelin inspired romp that sprinkles further class onto this opening statement. They follow that up with two rapid fire songs in the form of the hairy fuzz of Come With Me, which has a bares a quality reminiscent of Fu Manchu and the adrenalised, fist-pumping boogie of Inside; the two a perfect marriage of fun, addictive rock n’ roll.
Hero represents one of the record’s more infectious, radio friendly songs; alt rock in its make up with the guitar riding in the backseat alongside a rugged rhythm section. In the drivers seat, with its foot firmly on the as, are the vocals and, though the focus is in crafting a song that is easy to remember and sing along to, it is not without its substance as the song rockets off in its closing stages. It could be easy to argue that this is a poppy rock song, but when it’s done this well it’s hard to dismiss it as just a stab at a more commercial sound.
Supernova draws from Soundgarden songs the likes of Black Rain with Eastern tonalities flavouring its intro, the rest of the song taking a slow, ballad like form while final song Eternity, a supple acoustic number shows the band’s softer side without feeling like a token gesture. It rounds off a solid record that captures the band’s fiery blood flow.
RavenEye play Rebellion Friday 4th November alongside The Skull (featuring the founding members of doom legends Trouble).