Review by Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotography
Australian heavy rock band Wicked Smile will release their debut EP titled Delirium on July 1st.
The band is fronted by charismatic powerhouse lead vocalist Danny Cecati (ex Pegazus & Eyefear) with Stevie Janevski (The Radio Sun, ex Black Majesty) on guitars. The four song EP is produced by Paul Laine (The Defiants & Danger Danger) who also plays bass and sings backing vocals on the record, and mastered by Paul’s bandmate Bruno Ravel.
Danny and Stevie have been prolific members of the Australian rock and metal scene for many years, releasing a total of 25 albums between them spanning a range of genres, so this has been a much anticipated release.
Opening the EP is the single We Fall, and this really sets the tone for the overall sound and feel of the EP and the band – with three of the tracks co-written with Paul Laine – opening with a dark and ultra-heavy riff, a scintillating lead break, and vocals that are reminiscent of a lower-register Rob Halford in his prime. The chorus is just jaw-dropping, and sees some neat accents and space used to increaser the impact on the listener.
Stronger is the only track written solely by Stevie, and I suspect has some close personal links shared with daughter Cassidy Paris with the focus of the lyrics being on bullying in schools and throughout society in general – something close to both their hearts through the Metalheads Against Bullying group they support. Kicking off with another tight riff, this tips a hat to early BD Iron Maiden in the discordant voice / guitar lines and Danny’s epic vocals in the chorus, and features a screamer of a solo.
There is a wonderful tempo to Love’s Got a Hold On You that has the bass (Paul Laine) and drums (TBR) just steaming away beneath the guitar riff, and a massive hook-line in the chorus that brings in hints of 1987-era Whitesnake, and a little ripper of a guitar solo that grabs the attention and reminds you how good a lead guitarist Stevie is – there is a bit of Steve Stevens deep inside him that keeps forcing his way out into the riffs.
Final track Daze of Delirium fades in with another crusher of a riff but pops into a more commercial melodic rock feel, like a heavier Loverboy or Honeymoon Suite, or one of those Scandinavian rock bands like Backyard Babies or Gemini 5 who have that melodic industrial feel to them, but with the melodies of Reckless Love to soften the feel, and a huge set of “Whoa oh ohs” as part of the chorus. Stevie shows his versatility with the longest solo of the EP, and there is a wonderful little harmony guitar part in the solo that shines through.
Fans of bands such as Judas Priest, Dio, Skid Row, etc. should feel at home, with the band drawing major influence from classic eighties heavy rock and heavy metal, but with a strong melodic element woven through the guitars and vocals that ramps up the commercial appeal, and a modern touch that definitely gives the band a distinct identity. We all know there is not much totally new in the rock music world, although I have been pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of many of the new rock acts whose material I have been reviewing recently, and it is so good to be able to welcome a new band with a huge “Made in Australia” tag on it. Really looking forward to hearing the next round of material and maybe even some live shows before too long.
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