With a plethora of female fronted bands currently making ripples there is another to add to the list. Birmingham band Action Replay bring a blend of strong, well thought out song writing and creative well delivered melodic rock sounds tinged with some classic hard rock grandness. Formed in 2008 the quartet has progressed solidly accumulating in the release of their debut EP “Burning In Ice”.
The EP consists of four tracks built on firm rhythms and impressive guitar riffs and solos headed by the powerful voice of Aimée Flower. Her voice is a powerful element which probably is essential against the expansive guitar of Matt Draycott; his skills are obvious and flowing but never overpowering in songs with no sign of the indulgence that sometimes rears its head in this genre. Allowing all the finery to work is the driving rhythm from Mark Gadsden and Brett Patten with bass riffs and driving drums that are strongly impressive.
Title track ‘Burning In Ice’ leads off the EP, instantly accessible and rewarding from the first enthralling riff. Flower’s voice soars over the enticing blend of chords and melodies from Draycott as the track bounds along eagerly bringing the listener to its arms. It is the best track on the release and the track that will get them noticed first, it may not be necessarily their most creative but it has that charm and welcome which makes people take notice.
‘Dark Days’ continues the momentum with more compelling riffs and classic rock guitar flows. The track carries an edge though that places it just as easily at the doorway of a heavier metal sound so a cross genre appeal would be no surprise. In many ways the band lie near the sound of bands of Nightwish and Lacuna Coil though Action Replay get straight to the point without all the grand frills, instead allowing their own musical expertise and uniqueness to come out.
The remaining two tracks ‘Caught Between Us’ and ‘Cut You Down’ flirt with the power ballad, the first a slow paced track where the melodies and creative ideas shine around the emotionally charged lyrics, which to be fair frequent every song on the EP. The latter is a bigger bolder track which swells with again strong melodies and harmonies and intricate and enjoyable guitar work. Probably this is their strongest track on the release just losing out to the engaging ease of the title track.
The one thing from the EP that is apparent is that the sound and song writing is confident and that Action Replay are secure in knowing their music backs up their musical ideas and creativity. Sounds obvious but many bands have the ideas without knowing how to realise them.
The “Burning In Ice” EP is a strong and well presented collection of songs that shows Action Replay know how to and can create impressive music, what it also shows though is the band are still looking for that one spark to elevate them upwards so they really stand out against many other bands striving hard in the same area of music. The fact that Action Replay do write and produce quality songs shows it is just a matter of time before they find the one element to take them up many levels.