New Grave is everywhere right now: you can’t escape it and New Years Day are heading up the siege. Open up any rock magazine or website and there it is. It’s like a ghost that is haunting rock lovers the world over, though we shan’t be calling those nice blokes who got rid of the giant marshmallow man just yet. This is a ghost we quite like having around. Fronted by Queen of New-Grave, Ash Costello, the lady in question and her band of merry misfits are back with a brand new album. It’s heavy.It’s unrelenting. It’s down right creepy. Yet most of all, it’s really rather good. Let’s have a look as to why.
‘Kill Or Be Killed‘ eerily slides from sinister strings and creepy piano melodies into some truly devastating riff-work, with a vocal that shows off the length and width of the vocal talents of Miss. Costello. From tones with an almost girl’ish innocence through to downright snarling attitude, it’s clear that NYD are back and mean business. The innocent flutterings don’t last long however, with ‘I’m About To Break You‘ throwing any of the softer pretenses away in exchange for angsty snarls, a vocals that sound as smooth as cream, with a handful of gravel thrown in for good measure. The musicianship sees more guitar chugging and pounding of the skins with beautiful finesse.
There’s no real change in pace until just past the mid-point of the proceedings, with tracks such as ‘Left Inside‘ and ‘Relentless‘ keeping up the colossal weight that swings straight into our faces with an equally colossal force. Yet this is but a warm up, with ‘Anthem Of The Unwanted‘ kicking the brutality up a notch or ten. It’s an offering that is packed with energy and brings some truly sleazy, sexy filth to the table. It’s a tune that just begs to be played live and proves that NYD are fronted by a lady who could give any alternative vocalist a run for their money. It would be easy to try and draw comparison between other leading ladies of metal such as Amy Lee or Christina Scabbia, but this is no operatic showcase. It’s pure, raw and proud.
The sleaze doesn’t go away, with tracks such as ‘Scream‘ packing in unflinchingly sexual lyrics such as “Tell me how you want me, I can be your little slave”, “if you want me on my knees, just beg me pretty please” and, the rather unquestionable, “I just want to fuck”. William Control, it’s time for you to up your game if you want to you want to keep your title as King of the Rock & Roll Kinksters much longer.
Looking at the album as a whole, there’s very little in the way of differentiation between one track and the next. What is on offer here is twelve tracks of relentless, hard hitting rock music, packed full of dark and sexually explicit lyricism. We like it a lot, although we wouldn’t recommend playing it to your Gran.
Unless your Gran is super-cool of course.