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Charm City Devils - 'Battles' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/05/32/6a/charm-city-devils-battles-62-1423338074.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 07, 2015    
 
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An enjoyable album, but I'm not sure it's enough for Charm City Devils to break into a new phase.

'Battles' is the third album from Baltimore Hard Rock band Charm City Devils. There's no time to contemplate the band as 'Tear It Apart' throws it all out there with relentless riffs and gruff, nasal vocals, almost with a touch of Chris Laney's style. 'Crucify' comes with a Country Rock vibe, a phrase I hate to use because of what it can conjure up; maybe a comparison to Trixter's 'Wild Is The Heart' would be more appropriate. CCD keep it dark, brooding and rhythmically good fun.

The single 'Shots' isn't as catchy as you might expect; vocalist John Allen tends to stick to the same pitch which can drag some of the melodies out. 'Everyday' is the sort of song you could stick on during house party prep with its dirty veiled sound but not quite enough punch to take centre stage. If you want to dance stick on 'God's Gonna Cut You Down'; it brings in a Southern vibe but the band makes good use of different layers of sound – definitely the best example on the album.

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If I was pushed to pick a song out though, it would be 'Lying To Yourself'. Allen's vocals bring in more emotion, the melody is clear, guitarists Victor Karrera and Nick Kay weave in and out effortlessly, and all without losing the Hard Rock sound. 'Rich N Famous' plays with a thicker sound but 'Destiny' and 'Karma' both lack the hooks and attitude of previous tracks. 'Let It Go' is the only track with clean vocals, which is a nice difference, but it seems a weak end for an otherwise head-rush, full-throttle album.

'Battles' is a good fun album and CCD have perfected their own sound, which runs solidly throughout. However, in places the song-writing lets the album down with repetitive looping, often on the choruses. It's an enjoyable album, but I'm not sure it's enough for Charm City Devils to break into a new phase.

Sophie Brownlee

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