Imperial Vipers - Searching: Falling: Silence

Bring out the fatted calf, the prodigal son that is haunting, heart on sleeve, old fashioned Rock N’ Roll has returned to bite you in the arse. The Bedfordshire born, Ash Simmons fronted quintet emulate the howling brashness, shuddering guitars and the R  N’ R oomph of Motley Crew, The Troggs, Soundgarden and AC/DC. On top of this, they add their own bit of thrusting emotion to give tracks like the heart-sapping, honest opener ‘Hard To Smile’ and the lonely ‘Jewels’ some grit.

The winding guitars whizzed out by main songwriter Wes, punctuates the bemusement and hurt that is heartily exuded through the vocals, most noticeably in ‘Dirt’ and 'Promised Land’.  The post-grunge foray of ‘Streets Of California’, sees Simmon’s vocals imbued with the spirit Layne Staley to bring deep feeling to a song that cries out desperation and frustration. Compact tension results from a collision of abrasive guitars and the punchy percussion of Lofty in ‘Kick A Hole’ and ‘Living In My Veins’, creating musical crescendos. This helps to elevate the vocals and give them the same impact as if they were projected from the top of the Alps. Imperial Vipers, with this debut album, score one in the eye against the doomsayers who say that the power of the bygone days of rasping rock cannot be resurrected.

David Adair

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