APRIL 16th – EPITAPH

On their album ‘Epitaph’ vintage British based band April 16th unleash a ballsy platter of sparkling Rock that is scintillating and effervescent in equal measure.

Featuring fourteen panoramic and propulsive slabs of evocative music, this mellifluous opus is a timeless paean to classic songcraft that will hold you aloft with its smorgasbord of stellar verses and vibrant choruses.

I went into this album with no prior band history or context as opposed to the knowledge that these fellows are seemingly defunct and emerged in its wake having been set ablaze by a robust work of whimsical and wild Rock magic.

Following listening to this glistening piece of pummeling, hedonistic rock it came to my knowledge that ‘Epitaph’ was produced using the initial studio masters under which it was originally recorded at Cherry Studios. Simultneously I learned that April16th consisted of Dave Russel on vocals, John Fisher on Drums, Eric Buffet on Bass, Lawrence Mills on lead guitar and Chris Mills on Rhythm Guitar.

Beginning the proceedings is the rollicking ‘’She’s Mean”, a song that harkens back to the sneering, radio-Rock of Billy Idol with its blazing leads and vocal swagger.

Tracks like “Thursday’s Child”, “Midday Man” and “Don’t Drink” are bluesy examples of what would occur if the musical paths of The Cult, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi intersected on route 66 in a conflagration of catchy melodies, smooth vocals and gritty bombast.

“Sleepwalking’’ picks up the pace after the beautiful barroom sleaze laid down in ‘’Don’t Drink’’ with a rousing stadium rock sized riff, soaring vocals and pounding drums.

“Clapham Wood’’ is a lilting rock ballad that begins with a melancholic, reverb drenched guitar melody and husky vocals before its distorted central riff carries it forward in a blaze of glory. In stark contrast, “Illusion’’ is a romper stomper that is festive and arena ready replete with a charging riff that is akin to the most up-tempo moments of ‘Priest and ‘Sabbath.

“Let It Roll’’ has more of a new wave style threaded through its funky riffs and rhythms while ‘’Away’’ is a song I could have sworn I had heard before, perhaps when I was an adolescent listening to the Barney Simon show on 5fm. I could be wrong concerning this ripping song. It is a ripping song. Know that.

“Rattlesnake Shakedown”, “The Dealer” and “The Survivor” all continue the template established throughout ‘Epitaph’, each song being a prime example of infectious and strident Rock.

Opening with a slithering bass line ‘’Bloody Mary’’ is another barn-storming example of fiery riff driven smoulder that shimmies with its Def Leppard like bluster.

“Looking For Love’ brings ‘Epitaph’ to a close with might as its mammoth riffs, melodic vocals and solid drumming meld together to create a sing a long anthem in an album that is chock full of them.

Like the Eighties all over again and bringing to mind images of cruising down Sunset Boulevard with the wind rustling through one’s hair, the classic Rock conjured forth on ‘Epitaph’ is fun and festive.

-Asher Locketz-

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