It is 2020 somewhere in South London. Rews pause for breath in the middle of their latest single ‘Heart on Fire’ before the distorted guitar kicks back in for a renewed crescendo, which is the signal for the mosh pit to kick off into a swirling mass of frenzy! But wait….this is lockdown 2020 right? (Note to future self – this was the time of stay home, stay alert, save the NHS, no gigs, no fun, and endless Zoom calls!). So what is going on? An illegal lockdown party? Has Dominic Cummings come round to play? No <sigh> The stage is…. my YouTube playlist, the mosh pit is my front room and I am, in the words of Billy Idol, ‘Dancing With Myself’!
The reason for my impassioned dancing? Well, my imprisoned Covid-19 days have been truly brightened by the discovery of Rews and their second album ‘Warriors’. It is an album that takes a journey through tough situations and as frontwoman Shauna says, “this new album contains some of the most honest, painful and uplifting songs that I’ve ever written.” It helps that Shauna’s voice ranges from husky Blues, through smooth Pop to powerful Indy vocals. And that the album is full of hum along tunes and Indy riffs. Although there are some good remotely recorded lockdown songs by socially distanced bands, I have something much better to get me through the pandemic.
The album kicks off with ‘Birdsong’, which was the first single from the album and the song that first drew my attention to Rews. A powerful and catchy tune, with some cool riffs. The accompanying video gives some clues as to why Rews are attracting a growing fan base with their high energy live sets, with ‘Birdsong’ as an instant sing-a-long favourite of mine already.
Track 2 is ‘Razorblade’, which is again another strong track and goes a long way to allay Shauna’s concerns about the possibility of that ‘difficult’ second album. ‘Warriors’ builds on the excellent debut album ‘Pyro’ released in 2017 and Shauna goes on to say, “I think the album Warriors is a pure expression of who and what Rews is.” The album bears testament to those tough experiences, for example the inspiration for the track ‘Heart on Fire’ came while Shauna was training for a marathon. It is also the third single from the album and is a catchy uplifting anthem representing the fire that is in all of us. I’m definitely putting it onto my running playlist!
The album continues as it started with crunchy thumping base lines and anthemic vocals, which does, however, present a danger of the tunes seeping into your sub-consciousness resulting in involuntary insomnia and humming along at 4am! ‘Love Hate Song’, ‘Monsters’ and ‘Play Dead’ are all capable of doing just that. The album finishes with a subtly more refined track - ‘Habits’ with a slightly less intense vibe, which concludes the album nicely and encourages me to flick the “Repeat Play” button to the on position.
Shauna has been doing her best to keep stay at home spirits high with some innovative ways to create a community spirit during lockdown. She has done play along guitar tutorials of Rews songs, on-line festivals, fan led music videos and bundles of positive energy on social media that reflects the feelings and vibes expressed in the songs on ‘Warriors’.
Rews have a reputation of being one of the most exciting female contemporary Rock bands on the circuit. So it was doubly disappointing that their latest tour was cancelled as the lockdown froze the live music scene to an enforced pause. Wrinkly Rockers sadly didn’t get the chance to see them live earlier this year. And don’t we miss the ecstasy and adrenaline of the live music gig? I certainly hanker for the hot sweaty atmosphere of a famous London venue, the physical pulse of the bass thumping my chest and the social interaction of sharing the live experience between the band and the crowd.
Maybe the late night tube ride and the ears ringing the next day are not so missed, but I for one will be first in line to see Rews in the flesh when we break the chains of lockdown. Shauna proclaims that “Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed regardless of where you are.” So whether the mosh pit is in my living room, or at a Camden night spot, Rews have certainly helped me through the dark days of Covid-19 and ‘Warriors’ is my album of the moment. The single ‘Today We’re Warriors’ is out on Friday 26thJune and ‘Warriors’ is released on Friday 7thAugust on Marshall Records
Heart Is On Fire
Today We’re Warriors
Love Hate Song