Wearing Scars - 'A Thousand Words'

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Wearing Scars - 'A Thousand Words'

Music of a relentless quality that I never thought I would hear from a British band.

British vocalist Chris Clancy released one album as the front-man for American outfit Mutiny Within before returning to the U.K. to link up with former Sacred Mother Tongue guitarist Andy James and form the London-based Wearing Scars. The line-up is completed by James's former band-mates Lee Newell (drums) and Craig Daws (bass) as well as guitarist Daniel Woodyer.

WS are not easily pigeon-holed as their musical style encompasses a number of genres but everything comes together like a glorious Metal/Modern Rock/AOR hybrid. Six of the songs on 'A Thousand Words' have a vibe one would normally associate with a band from the U.S.A. or mainland Europe and are jaw-droppingly good. Opener 'Become Numb' (first single) is full of bravado, packed with melody and attitude and the assault on the senses is a great way to start. 'Better' begins with a barrage of double-kick drums and big riffs but once the song settles down it is difficult not to get caught up in the sumptuous arrangements.

These two songs are fantastic but there three other that take things to an even higher level. 'Butterfly' is one of the songs of the year so far for me. It has an epic quality due to the orchestral enhancements and the hook simply soars. 'Gone Forever' and 'Heart In Your Hands' follow suit, again the music is infectious and the chorus in each would make many an AOR anorak weep.

'I Could Never Say' picks up the pace again but certainly not at the expense of melody, the guitars cutting a swathe and taking no prisoners. 'A Last Goodbye', 'Letters', 'Stand Alone' and 'Waiting For The End' have more of a Metal feel, reminding me a little of Sonic Syndicate in the tempo and song structure but not the vocals. The title track is an emotionally charged ballad, brimming with subtle power and elegance and a return to the forceful nature of the earlier more Melodic Rock flavoured material. 'Wounds' brings things to a close, dominated initially by big guitars and drums before the chorus takes hold to raise goose-bumps.

The sound on 'A Thousand Words' is big and bold; the mix highlights the guitars and they really impress without overshadowing the overall impact of each song. And what a set of songs they are, this is "Album Of The Issue" for me (and there have been some other great releases to review) and music of a relentless quality that I never thought I would hear from a British band.

Dave Bott

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