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REVIEW - Redhead - 'Broken Hourglass' (Album - Flicknife Records)

Basingstoke, Hampshire band Redhead have been with us in one form or another since 2013 but 'Broken Hourglass' (released on the 30th April on Flicknife Records) is the first full length album they've released. The band's bio will tell you the band's name comes from 'a combined history of dating only redheaded girls and a strangely insatiable love of dyed red hair on girls' and this album is certainly on the good time 80s - girls, beer, rock 'n'roll - side of rock and metal. In fact, to these ears, bands such as FM, Dare and rock nights at the Retford Porterhouse circa 1980 (I imagine, I'm not that old!) all spring to mind when listening to the album.

'Broken Hourglass' has a particularly strong first half with opening track 'Devil On Your Shoulder' wasting no time in setting out its stall with a twisting, bluesy riff leading into a hard rockin' tune with strong guitar playing, a tight rhythm section and a hooky, sing-along chorus. The 'slinky', 'Hold On Me' then prefaces the two most accessible (and single worthy) tracks - 'Weekend Woman' with its boogie feel and great dual playing alongside an impossibly catchy chorus and the strutting 'Girl', another monster tune. Ellis Crewe-Candy's voice sparkles best on the acoustic parts of the album, such as the short 'n' sweet 'One Last Time', but his vocals are distinctive throughout, and the guitars of Lee Blackburn and Matt Hitching also burn and soar for the duration of the album, all ably backed up by the tight and rock-solid rhythm section of Alex Murray and Nathan Haynes. If the album dips slightly with the next three tracks, the final two tracks on the album finish the record with some elan. As its name suggests 'Ghost Train', is a rollicking, runaway tune with more great guitar playing and a rabble rousing chant-along chorus while 'Last Chance' shows the band can also turn their hand to a lighters aloft ballad with more fine vocals from Crewe-Candy and an 'orchestral' play-out.

'Broken Hourglass' should appeal to anybody who hankers after the melodic, pop-metal bands of the 80s, who like a bit of fun in their music and want to 'party at the weekend'. Well played and put together, 'Broken Hourglass' is an excellent opening gambit from the band and will hopefully get Redhead out to a wider audience than their native Hampshire. I imagine they're a good night out as well - let's hope they can also get out and play these songs soon.

'Broken Hourglass' is out now and available from all the major digital sites and their record label, Flicknife Records.

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