Piston – Piston
Release Date: 13/09/2019
Running Time: 32:44
Review by Paul Monkhouse
It seems that the Midlands have a bit of a monopoly on great rock bands and the area’s history is blessed with names such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Magnum and Judas Priest amongst many others. You can now add Piston to that proud list as this, their self-titled debut, is a heavyweight contender for the big league. Having already played shows with some major hitters in the scene, it’s now their turn in the spotlight and the results are dazzling.
The aptly named ‘Dynamite’ is an incendiary start to the album with its irresistibly punchy riffs and gang vocals dealing a knockout blow straight out of the gate. There is absolutely no messing with this, and the flick-knife wielding attitude takes no prisoners, Rob Angelico’s vocals roaring above the twin guitar carnage of Jack Edwards and Luke Allatt whilst Stuart Egan and Brad Newlands provide the bedrock on which this monster stands. Already playlisted by several radio stations, ‘Rainmaker’ is the glorious offspring of Led Zep and AC/DC in its balance of power, dynamics and guts, highlighting the strength of intelligent songwriting here-in. ‘Go Now’ struts like Gene Simmons at his most confident and the brilliant ‘Carry Me Home’ stomps with a rootsy blues style that sounds earthy and towering at the same time.
Promising to be an absolute killer live, ‘One More Day’ glories in cascading guitars and a rip snorting, punky hard rock feel that can blister you from a mile away. Whilst the prowling ‘Beyond Repair’ is arguably the weakest song on the release, it’s quality is such that it would be the strongest track on many other bands albums and the gold standard writing on ‘Piston’ is a high watermark to produce ten faultless songs that hit the spot every time. Other people may declare it their favourite track. You pay your money; you take your choice. ‘Leave if You Dare’ is Southern Rock mixed with the best of British and has some phenomenal guitar playing by Edwards and Allatt, the band cranking things up another notch with ‘Blow it Away’. This is a song built for foot to the floor driving and full of the joyous feeling of leaving work on a Friday night to go to a gig, adrenaline sky high.
If you’ve ever wondered what the Stones on steroids having a beer with Extreme would sound like, look no further than ‘Let Us Rise’, a song so packed with sparks and a kaleidoscope of colour that you may never get tired of listening to it. Throughout, Angelico and the Piston boys are really firing on all cylinders, never afraid to stretch their muscles in both the performances and writing. ‘Into the Night’ finishes the album and it’s another twist in an already compelling patchwork that makes this such a vital addition to the collection of all self-respecting rock fans. Utterly fascinating, this eschews the more hard-rocking whole of the album and goes into a territory of chiming U2 like guitars and vocals that are more akin to Peter Gabriel than the style before and it works brilliantly. Remixes of ‘One More Day’ and ‘Rainmaker’ have been added as bonus tracks and are a welcome, if somewhat unnecessary, addition to an already almost perfect debut.
Overall, this is music that captures the groove and feel of natural talent and chemistry of the five band members while harnessing that to something that is so full of colour and heft that sets Piston apart from a lot of their contemporaries. The band prove once and for all that the British rock scene is worth supporting and, given the talent and hard work they obviously put in, can take on anyone on the World. Move over Ozzy, Jimmy and Rob, there are new kids in town with their sights firmly on your crowns and, do you know what, they might just take them one day. You need this album.
03. Go Now
04. Carry Us Home
05. One More Day
06. Beyond Repair
07. Leave If You Dare
08. Blow It Away
09. Let Us Rise
10. Into The Night
11. One More Day (Remix Bonus Track)
12. Rainmaker (Remix Bonus Track)
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