Nine Lashes Standing Tall
Posted January 16, 2012
By MaryNikkel_NRT, Staff Reviewer
In 2009, independent hard rock band Nine Lashes released a solid 12-track project titled Escape. For two years after that, the band went quiet while fans breathlessly waited to see if they would catch the attention they deserved. In early 2011, Tooth & Nail finally announced them as newly signed to their roster.
Things are seriously picking up for Nine Lashes now as they kick off 2012 opening for genre heavyweights RED and Thousand Foot Krutch, following the release of their label debut World We View. This ambitious album already promises to be one of the most solid rock debuts of the year.
The album drops with the lead single, “Anthem of the Lonely.” The song provides a solid introduction to the band’s style, employing dark, cutting riffs and challenging lyrics that call for standing firm in truth even when it’s the loneliest place to be: “right now, even if you take me on, I’ll stand the lonely.”
“The Intervention” follows with a blistering battle cry for endurance. “Get Back” builds on a very solid bass line while addressing someone who has turned their back on their beliefs.
Nine Lashes draws on their independent release for one track, the haunting “Afterglow,” which deals with themes of loss. This updated version fills out the chorus and backs the muted guitars with strings and keys. The result is chilling as the song mourns, “right in front of me you disappear, you’re still vanishing, you left me here.”
“Adrenaline” brings the energy levels back up. This is arena rock at its finest, and Nine Lashes wisely draws on the vocal talents of Thousand Foot Krutch frontman Trevor McNevan. This track seems made for wide arenas with fans screaming the words back. Another collaboration brings a distinct flavor to the track “Our Darkest Day,” featuring backing vocals by Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter. The sliding, distorted riffs of “Our Darkest Day” back lyrics about holding on in hard places. Ryan Clark’s vocals are a tasteful addition, bringing a tension to the heavy track.
A few of the songs take a slightly lighter approach musically, such as “Believe Your Eyes” (the track from which the album title is taken) and “Memo.” These tracks have a more widely accessible sound while maintaining rock solid songwriting grounded in truth. The musical diversity carries into “Write it Down,” which has a bright electronic thread shimmering beneath layers of rich, driving guitar.
The album takes a darker turn again with the piercing, edgy track “The Void.” Soaring, almost choral voices back Jeremy Dunn’s constantly building momentum as the song searches for hope. The vivid imagery in the lyrics has by this point been established as a strong point for the band: “I’m finding the road, and tonight the sky is burning bright for me.” The album wraps up with the primarily acoustic track “My Friend,” featuring an unusually gritty acoustic guitar tone and conversational lyrics.
In a world shifting in the direction of pop and dance, Nine Lashes has crafted an incredibly strong, unapologetic rock album that brings back a raw power that has often been lacking in the genre’s recent years. World We View is aggressive, both in its massive guitar riffs and its solid stand for truth in a crumbling world. This album is an achievement that promises great things from the future for Nine Lashes, and could easily hold its own amidst rock heavy weights in both Christian and mainstream rock formats.
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