If guitar music is dead, rock’n’roll redundant and music stars fading, what are ScenicLife doing here? Ready with that ‘shot in the arm’ that Jim Chancellor of Fiction records is adamant guitar music needs, the first four tracks from Scenic Life (Lawrence Bray on vocals and rhythm, who shares the songwriting with Daniel Dodson, also on drums and ‘Jimi’ Drew Vera on bass) are triumphant, pulsating, and anthemic stuff. Sounding like a clenched fist in its tangibility, is Just The Same which flicks and tricks like a kid on a skateboard, bass lines all a-twang. The flagrant swagger of singer Lawrence Bray’s live performance is captured – with every snarl the giveafuck confidence of all the greats is conveyed. Take Me Away is a slower affair, swooning and smouldering until it builds to an anthemic chorus, a powerful and stately vision with a gritty and visceral aura, whereas Make Believe is a menacing eruption evocative of early Oasis demos like Cloudburst or Take Me. Brighton ’64 sounds an all too late warning to those on Margate beach on that fateful day, reminding us that holding fast to the music will save your soul, with its chorus ‘Come on, sing your favourite song, and then you’ll find you’re doing nothing wrong’ repeated over an epic curving riff. Some will bleat about ScenicLife wearing their influences so overtly on their sleeves, but a wardrobe crammed with the Gallagher brothers, John Lennon and The Stone Roses is a stylish one to be in. The lyrics are direct and the simple rhymes will be questioned, but then if they’d wanted to wallow in similes and abstract metaphors, they’d have become English teachers. And they’re not. They’re rock’n’roll stars.
Life Before Now by ScenicLife