Storm The Gates – The Prehistorics (Sonic Artillery Records)
What a long way this Sydney band has come in a few years – and not just geographically speaking.
The Prehistorics have done the European touring thing a couple of times now, returning home to relative indifference. Main-man Brendan Sequiera was planning to relocate to France but red tape and lukewarm day job prospects have put that plan on the backburner.
What he and his band have delivered with their fourth long-player is an album of world-class, melodic but hard-hitting rock and roll. It will go down a storm offshore and - all things being equal - should make an audience closer to home sit up and listen as well.
Guitars, big choruses and hooky songs. “Storm The Gates” mines the same ground as the latter-day Dubrovniks. Throw in a nod to Sweden’s evergreen Sewergrooves and Radio Birdman, too. The songwriting is strong and the delivery focused.
Sequeira writes the songs and music, plays guitar and sings lead vocal. Stu Greenwood handles lead guitar and backing vocals, while producer Michael Carpenter is on extra guitar and the other instruments, and pitches in as back-up singer.
There’s a trio of killer songs that form the heart of the record. The up-and-down chord pattern in “Already Gone” has a sort of majesty that builds to the coup de grace chorus. “Heart in a Blender” works despite some obviousness and “Forged in The Fires of Hell” seals the deal with a potent mix of melody and sharp Heartbreakers guitar licks.
“Les Fleur de la Libertie” has a touch of the Lime Spiders’ “Jessica” with its tough but tender guitars and muscular feel. “Playing With Fire” flips the switch to swampy country ever so slightly and scores a thumbs up, too. “Rocket To Russia” doesn’t so much recall the Ramones as the Hellacopters in their most melodic prime.
Carpenter recorded "Storm The Gates" at his HQ Studios in Sydney and if there's one drawback it's that the production could be a little rawer and less polite. There's no hope of mainstream radio airplay (although commuhity statioins should take to this if it's put under their noses) so let's let that tiger roar.
"Storm The Gates" comes as an LP with download or CD and there’s one surefire way to make sure “Storm The Gates” doesn’t sink without a trace. Buy it, stupid.