A little north of London lies sleepy little Hemel Hempstead; a town known more for its magic roundabout rather than its quality music bands, but that is all about to change as it is woken messily from its slumber by emerging rock act Second Rate Angels. Don’t be fooled though, self-monikered as a “metal ‘n’ roll” band they are anything but second rate. We tuned into their latest EP ‘The Lost Days’ to see what all the hype was about.
Individually they have a varied range of musical influences which is evident over the four track teaser. Dave vocally blends a metal growl unabashedly with soothing melodies as his fists-in-the-air choruses reflect inspirations of Fat Wreck Chord era punk and the British super talent The Wildhearts penchant for a good sing-a-long. The track Lost Days really shows the talent of guitarists Matt and Chris who offer a solid shred and rhythm section to the band – smooth yet technical, complimentary against a down and dirty bass groove provided by singer Dave.
Drummer Andy proclaims his initial foray into music was playing jazz drums, a major influence before he started to play metal and rock – one thing is evident on this EP though, jazz drums didn’t make for loose limbs, his phenomenal, unrelenting double kick magic doesn’t even take a break to breathe – ‘Black Ice’ is a rugged example of this in action.
The band claim both ‘Lost Days’ and ‘Dragged Out’ as their defining songs of the moment, with “big melodies and crazy guitar work,” illustrative of the music these guys were born to play.
The sound at current is perhaps too easily comparable to Bullet for My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold but with a more mainstream edge. The band themselves wouldn’t claim either as influences though, but attest that they have been strongly influenced by the same bands, with Bad Religion and Pantera being high up on their sway list: “Whilst we may share similar influences to those guys, our sound definitely brings more of a rock feel. As we continue to write music, our sound is delivering something that is definitely ours.”
In fact, their cohesive glue seems to be the individual and somewhat random range of musical spheres; from Helloween to Parkway Drive, Janus Stark to Killswitch Engage! With their debut EP are four crisp numbers throwing them into the deep end of the scene, the rawness of the recording reflects that as a band they are still in their relative infancy however they pack a punch diverse enough that we’ll wait eagerly to see their growth by the time they drop an album.