In 2017, Rival Bones led the way when it came to heavy rock in our Top 40 of the Year. Hives finished fifth in the overall leaderboard, only beaten by the big boys in Foo Fighters, 30 Seconds to Mars and a couple more. This year, they’ve raised the bar even higher with their latest release, Scars. The two-piece from Liverpool are continually being compared to Royal Blood and other artists who have a similar style and dynamic on stage but I believe though that the music Rival Bones have been making since early 2017, has been a level up from their heavy rock counterparts, and is distinguished by the incredible lead vocal courtesy of James Whitehouse.
Opening with a grungy riff, Whitehouse brings in his powerful, melodic vocal. Isolated with just the riff to begin with, the track drops with the introduction of the crashing drums of Chris Thomason. Whilst Whitehouse is the star of the show on most Rival Bones tracks, on Scars, Chris drives the track in a wonderful way; stylistically his tracking is much more dynamic and flowing with clean breaks and classy cymbal use. Where many two-piece’s make use of a bass guitar to drive the track and the drums have to do a lot of the work, Whitehouse and Thomason layer their tracks in an incredible way meaning they can use a six-string, giving more depth and range to their tracks and it’s incredibly evident on this new release.
Scars has a killer chorus accompanied by huge riffs and incredibly controlled drums. At just 3:00, the track races to a conclusion. Unlike many Rival Bones tracks which are known for their build to a crescendo, Scars doesn’t do this as the track begins at full pace and never dies down. It’s an intense piece of music that will stand out live on their future live sets. I love this band, they create special, high-octane music that everybody can enjoy and Scars is no exception.