Skarlett Riot - Tear Me Down Review

By Sarah Green

The rock scene in the UK has been in rude health lately, with many relatively new bands delivering exciting music: Heaven's Basement, Black Spiders, Jettblack and The Treatment. Now another stands among them: established in 2010, Skarlett Riot are the rising stars from Lincoln and are already known by many as ‘a heavier British Paramore,’ though they'd be more aptly described as the lovechild of Jettblack and Halestorm

The foursome that are busy touring the UK as we speak, consists of Skarlett - in lead with her powerful vocal range and guitar riffs - and the three boys (Danny- guitars/backing vocals, Tom - bass/backing vocals and Luke – drums), who certainly deliver the term ‘riot’ to the name; enriching the sound with tantalisingly awesome solos, roaring riffs and memorising melodies, which leave you well and truly blown away. 

Their first studio album, Tear Me Down, is a non-stop roller coaster from start to finish. Just when you think you have heard your favourite track on the album, you quickly realise that with each subsequent track you’re left with the exact same feeling of awe. It's an album packed with heavy hitters and anthems, as well as the more reflective, melancholic tracks. The song I found to be the most memorable, ‘Broken Wings,’ belongs firmly in the latter category: its lyrics which evoke a sense of vulnerability, painted a haunting picture in my head of someone reaching out and asking for help or a way out. It begs the question: can what is broken really be fixed? It's a very contemplative track, helped by Skarlett's raw, pained vocal style.

As soon as the opening drum beat kicks in for the high octane ‘Adrenaline’, and you hear the lyrics: 'Feel the adrenaline chasing through your veins, gotta love the attention,' there is no denying that you can feel your own adrenaline surging through your body. The pace never relents, as the drum work powers on and the guitars rage; there's some fantastically powerful, concise riffs here. The chorus is particularly anthemic, amplified by the inclusion of some subtle male gang shouts in the background.‘Rock And Roll Queen’ is also a fantastic song; powered by a riff that will play in your head for hours. Skarlett, using her lyrical talents, portrays a girl that can use her music to draw you in - in her words: ‘she’ll pin you down and make your weak at your knees’. These two songs are clear examples of the genius that is behind Skarlett Riot and the astonishing music that is produced.

'Villain' is a big sounding track. It opens with a bit of distortion and chugging, building up like pressure continually rising under the surface, until Skarlett comes in. The lyrics are angry, venomous and hard hitting; it'd definitely make a great break-up track. At first I expected title track Tear Me Down, to be a slower affair, but it unfolds at a brisk pace. It's a ballad that packs a punch: the riffs are furious, as is the solo, the gang chants make a welcome return and Skarlett's vocals are strong and emotive. A very strong track.

On the negative side: track 5, Lost (which I believe is an intro track to Tear Me Down), I couldn’t help but feel that it’s more of an intro track to the entire album itself; suggesting that these tracks may have been more suitable at the beginning of the album.

For a first studio album, there is no denying that there has been a lot of thought and preparation been done. The production quality is utterly superb (especially for a debut album). I for one am looking forward to hearing this album live to see if they can do it justice and excitedly await a follow up album of what is to me pure musical genius.

Devil Horn Rating (Out of Five): \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/