Back in my early days of having my own album review site, when I was relying on the major released albums that I’d buy from the store or a few friends bands albums to have stuff to review, Screaming Eagles‘s debut album From The Flames (you can read the review here) was the first album I was ever really given to review. I remember what a new experience that was for me, and it wasn’t long until it became a more frequent thing to see in my email box, to the point where now a couple of years later I have a nice long list of bands waiting for reviews, and it all started with that email I got while visiting a friend in Peterborough. So, of course, I obliged when being asked to review their latest album Stand Up And Be Counted.
I was a little shy to say it at the time, though I implied it, but From The Flames showed Screaming Eagles trying a little too hard to sound like AC/DC and much of the album was kind of uninspired, with the sole purpose of rocking hard. So I had hoped when listening to Stand Up And Be Counted that things may have changed. They did, slightly but they did.
I wasn’t so convinced with the opening track “Ready For The Fall”. It doesn’t sound like AC/DC, but it sounds like Airbourne, who are just as guilty. But after that track I pleasantly noticed that Screaming Eagles shaved away a lot of that obvious influence and started making standard hard rock that can pass as their own. “Save Me” for instance has to be the heaviest track they’ve recorded while “Bow Down To The Blues” stays true to its title in that it’s a blues-based hard rock song and well played at that. “Chase You Down” has a solid groove to it and I really like the intro and verses to “Get Out While I’m Ahead”.
But Screaming Eagles still can’t completely shake that AC/DC sound on songs like the title track “Stand Up And Be Counted”. Despite having a good groove in its verses, it goes right back to the simple and overplayed beats that AC/DC have played to death. “Breakin’ All The Rules” has country rock sounding harmonized vocals to start the track off which I found pretty awesome since I was not expecting that, but then simplifies afterward. Lastly is the track simply titled “Screaming Eagles”. This track, just like the opening track, sounds a bit like Airbourne just with better vocals. However, this track is the best of the less than original sounding songs, perhaps because it has more intensity than the other ones mentioned.
There are two songs on Stand Up And Be Counted that I truly look at as tracks that really show Screaming Eagles‘ true colors and show, for the first real time, that they can stick out of the pack. These songs are the hard grooving “Streets of Gold” which has a badass energy similar to “Save Me” but a structure unlike any on the album. The other song would be the closing song “27 Club” which practically sounds like nothing else on the album. It’s melodic and soulful and all musical elements of the track seem to be well thought out more so than most other tracks Screaming Eagles have done.
So my verdict is that Screaming Eagles have definitely improved on Stand Up And Be Counted. It has its moments where it may not seem so, but even those moments still rock hard, which frankly is all Screaming Eagles really want to do. I’m happy of the steps forward they’ve taken, but I still feel they have a bit more changes to go through. If the best moments of Stand Up And Be Counted are any indication, I’d say the future looks bright.
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“Save Me” – I liken this as the most intense track on Stand Up And Be Counted. It shows the bands attitude and intentions perfectly while putting them all together in one great sounding track.
7 (Out of 10)
|1||Ready for the Fall||3:48|
|3||Stand up and Be Counted||4:37|
|4||Bow Down to the Blues||3:28|
|5||Chase You Down||3:27|
|6||Get out While I’m Ahead||4:03|
|7||Breakin’ All the Rules||3:58|
|8||Streets of Gold||4:09|