Every so often you get excited about a new release from a band that you have had your eye on for a while. I have seen AT THE SUN live a few times now and they have always blown me away with their intensity and the quality of their tracks. So, I was overjoyed when I was sent a copy to review and, believe me, this album did not disappoint. The album is released on 8th March and the band have set up a page for pre orders (see below).
AT THE SUN was formed by rhythm guitarist Kieron Heavens and bass player Alex Matthews, who set out to bring together the finest musicians they could find to make music with lasting substance. After a long (and often frustrating!) search for the right line-up, Harry Dale (Vocals), Alex Matthews (Bass), Chet Jogia (Lead Guitar), Craig Steen (Drums) and Kieron Heavens (Rhythm Guitar) released their debut 4-track EP ‘Breathe’ in 2017, gaining radio play on the likes of Planet Rock, Hard Rock Hell and Total Rock.
Only A Fool is the first track and sets the scene for the album, blistering with distortion and spiky drums before the bass and guitars power in, leaving you almost breathless. The vocals swagger in, replete with just enough sneer and attitude. If you are anything like me, your toes will be tapping by now. The tracks weaves between a vibrant bass line which the drums back up, making the track harder and fuller, whilst the guitars grind winding up to a sultry riff. This is a tight track, delivering a punch and leaving you intrigued about the rest of the album will play out.
Preacher is guided by a very strong bass which the vocals weave in and around, creating interest before the rest of the instruments pile in to produce a massive wall of sound. This is a track that is very melodic and reminded me slightly of early Rival Sons but with more of a punch. The vocals make you want to move your hips and this is sure to be a huge crowd pleaser when played live. The guitars add an extra zing with their staccato interplay with the bass, which is delivered beautifully. It is also great to hear the bass line being given prominence.
Delivering another very catchy tune Breathe will have you singing along by the second chorus. I really liked the guitars adding another voice to the vocals and the interaction between them. The drums add an extra layer to this track, keeping the pace moving along. All of the swagger and muscular riffs that you have enjoyed from the previous tracks are here, supped up and ready to rock.
Drums and bass line are prominent in Walk On Over which is a very sultry track. The bass line is epic, increasing the intensity of the vibrant sexuality. The vocals really ramp up the vibe with “I want you for my own, you ain’t one for the masses, I got my mind on your body and it looks fantastic.” There is some mesmerising drumming towards the end, which serves to remind you just how well rounded this band are, delivering quality instrumentation and vocals throughout The guitar is rich and fluid but the bass line is the star of this track.
I bet you cannot help but nod your head or tap your toes during Lay It On Me. Parts of the track have a bluesy feel, but then it moves back in to rock with screaming guitars which rise and increase the blur before the melody kicks back in. I loved the vocals in the last part of the track, dripped with passion, using pauses to give it an intimate quality, almost as if the lyrics are just for you.
Lifetime is another catchy tune. The guitars sparkle with shimmering riffs with the track moving in direction between slower parts then the bass and guitars increase becoming more forceful. The beat that powers this track forward packs a thump, whilst the guitars wind around the bass and drums adding additional peaks of interest.
If you want something a little darker then Devil In Your Eyes will deliver. There is a ferocious snarl from the bass line, whilst the vocals have ramped up the sneer and attitude. This is a stand out track for me, making the hairs on the back of my neck standing to attention. It is dirty, packed with insolence but still putting a huge smile on your face. Having heard this track live I can say with certainty is an absolute belter. If you want a track to rock out to this is the one for you. I cannot keep still whilst this track is on. First class.
Bite Your Tongue wraps you up in the aggressive bite from the guitars, reinforced by the accomplished drumming and bass. This track changes in tempo and feel as it progresses becoming slightly softer with an almost storm like feel, you can almost hear the thunder crashing in the distance as the track builds into a cacophony of sound, deep, dark and forceful.
Slowing things down Indestructible has an anthemic feel as I can picture this going down well at a festival with everyone singing along. Blissful guitar tones layer over the vocals with the drums and bass keeping the narrative moving in the right direction. There are some brooding bass and guitar tones that build the sound.
Renegade picks the pace back up, replete with buzzy bass and assured, fierce guitar tones before the pace slows right down so that just the vocals engage your senses. Then, wham you are back, full throttle into the eye of the storm of this track.
Showing more of the versatility of the band Soak It Up is still a full-on rock track but with a slight nod back to yesteryear. The guitars provide a surly feel and the riff is pure class, reaching and building the feel. The drums provide a harder backdrop with the bass being dark and dirty.
All too soon for me the final track of album is here. The opening lyrics of Raise Your Glass are “There’s a steam train coming but I don’t know why but I do know one thing we live, we die” and you certainly feel as though there is a train heading your way. The guitars and bass provide a massive sound which is ably backed up by the drums with the vocals snarling over. I loved the emotional intensity of the last third where the track quietens down before the guitars remind you of what they can do, with a growling riff.
To sum up then, this is one hell of an album, packing all kinds of punches and backing them up with elegant instrumentation that moves effortlessly from sincere and sultry to full on rock crammed with scintillating riffs and heavy bass lines. The killer track for me is Devil in Your Eyes but the whole album is well put together and delivers. If they are anywhere near you on the tour, I would urge you to go and see them, this band will not disappoint. Also remember to pre order a copy of the album as you will want it on repeat as I have done.
April 5: Wolverhampton, Giffard Arms
April 6: Bridgwater, Cobblestones
April 9: Manchester, Gullivers
April 10: Nottingham, Maze
April 11: Sheffield, Mulberry Bar
April 12: London, Black Heart
April 13: Hatfield, The Rock Den
April 14: Brighton, Hope & Ruin
May 3-5: Newport, The Patriots 22nd Anniversary Weekender