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Illustr8ors - 'Photopia' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c2/30/33/Illustr8ors-Photopia-32-1471892885.jpeg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 22, 2016    
 
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A powerful, catchy album that will stay with the listener for years.

So..."Bizarre Name Change Of The Year" award goes to...Bristol's BlackWolf, who now go by the name of Illustr8ors; this, undeniably, makes them sound like the sort of Indie band hipsters (and such like) who start a band for five minutes before getting back to wondering who stole their socks. Personally, I was worried, because I bloody loved BlackWolf, and if any band didn't deserve to be declawed it's them. So let's just say I was not expecting what I got, because what I got was the second BlackWolf album. Phew...

Yep, 'Photopia' is an immensely satisfying Heavy Rock, Blues-based album and heavy as hell, featuring soaring vocals with guitars to match. Straight from the opening chords of 'Something Biblical', this is not so much an album as an aural kick in the nuts. Vocalist Scott Sharp still retains one of the most powerful young voices in Rock, and throughout the album it's used to great effect, displaying passion and rage, love and loss.

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Every single track grabs you and shouts in your face, each with a depth that those willing to pore over the lyrics can plumb, but also with an immediate enjoyment from the simple fact they are great Rock songs. The one I kept coming back to was second track, 'Your Animal', mainly because I love the way Sharp sings the chorus and I wish I could do it half as well. Special mention must go to the closing track 'Citizen' as well, where the band slows the tempo down without sacrificing any of the passion.

'Photopia' really should have carried on the good name of BlackWolf because it's far too good to be by a band called Illustr8ors. Suffice to say if you liked BlackWolf there is absolutely no reason to be wary of the new image/name, as this is a powerful, catchy album that will stay with the listener for years.

Alan Holloway

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