Offering America Bright Hope For A Hard Rock Future
Nuclear Blast Records
They wear their hair long, don’t shave, roll their own cigarettes and walk around in deerskin jackets and bell-bottoms. Scorpion Child don’t like labels, it pisses them off… but listen closely and you’ll hear how they weave their musical roots into a patchwork of heavy rock. Their sound hearkens back to early ‘70s psych-rock with a modern twist listing Aphrodite’s Child, Sir Lord Baltimore and Bang! as influences. They consider themselves purists that pay homage to Britain’s Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy with a hint of Black Sabbath. The five-piece hail from Austin, Texas where they’ve spent the last six years perfecting both their songwriting and stage presence. Layering high-energy twin-guitars over a pounding rhythm section with a singer that’s a cross between Robert Plant and Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon has built the band a substantial fanbase and made them the darlings of SXSW.
After song writing sessions in Nashville, the band spent 2011 recording their self-titled debut album with Grammy-nominated producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith (The Answer, Slayer, Meat Puppets). The result is a hybrid of eight, hook-filled mammoth classics that breathe new life into a stale hard rock market. Post-recording the band’s lineup went through a substantial reshuffling. Mainstays Aryn Schwartz (vocals) and Shaun Avants (bass) remained as the chief songwriters. On the recommendation of their departing drummer they brought in Sean Alvear giving their engine room a Bonham-meets-Bill Ward boost. Austin guitar legends Chris Cowart (lead guitar) and Dave Finner (rhythm guitar, pedal steel) signed on bringing a technically progressive, doom metal edge to the mix. After several late nights smoking hash and jamming, Scorpion Child rekindled their mojo in the strength and shape of the band’s original sound. “I couldn’t be more pumped,” says singer Aryn Schwartz. “We’re finally the band we needed to become.”
Trends in music are cyclical. Every few years something comes along that borrows just enough from the past to make the new exciting again. Scorpion Child are a breath of fresh air that share a reverence for Muddy Waters in the electric blues of “Kings Highway”, Dio-era Rainbow in “Polygon of Eyes” and the pummeling drive of Deep Purple’s In Rock with “The Secret Spot”. Built for the big stage “Salvation Slave” hearkens back to when guitar rock ruled the airwaves and made going to a concert the ultimate main event. “It’s always been my vision to keeps us from bending to the music industry,” says Schwartz. “We’ve worked with people that wanted us to sound like this band or that. We sound like what we sound like - we’re not gonna let anyone tell us what they think our sound should be.” The band join an elite few including The Sword, Graveyard and Radio Moscow that celebrate a warm Marshall and liquid feedback while still pushing boundaries.
That adventurous spirit carries over in to the Hippie infused “Antioch”, a Yes-like folk number with hypnotic beat and subtle shades of light that fuses into a blinding guitar solo. A galloping pulse distinguishes “In The Arms of Ecstasy” as a celebration of groove while the slow building “Red Blood (The River Flows)” continues to attract comparisons to Led Zeppelin. “I guess the similarities with Zeppelin are that we branch out a bit more,” says Aryn. “They were more innovative and not afraid to go outside the usual confines of an electric blues-rock band.” As vinyl continues to replace the CD as the medium of choice, Scorpion Child have plans to release their debut in Europe as a glorious gatefold edition with different colored vinyl in each pressing. Due to its overwhelming live reaction, the power-pop “Liquor” is slated as the record’s single. “I’ve always wanted a vintage element about us but not a knockoff throw back,” says Schwartz, “Just when you think you have us writing the next Pentagram album we’re gonna throw in some Jackson Five.”
Website: Scorpion Child, Nuclear Blast Records