Artist: Contagious
   Title: Red, White & Slightly Blue
   Label: Z Records

One of Britain's brightest new bands around at the minute as far as Classic/Melodic hard rock is concerned is Contagious.  Remember the name and keep an eye out for them, they will be doing some serious touring with some very big named bands in the next 12 months.

This five piece band from Liverpool are on the brink of something massive. One listen to this EP and you'll know what I mean.  If the bookies start taking bets on them then make sure to get in there fast because they won't be a well kept secret for much longer.

Anyone familiar with Z Records will already have a fair idea what sort of music these guys are putting out as this is one label that knows talent and has one particular genre/age group in mind.

They probably won't win the younger rock crowd over just yet with this offering but they will however impress a lot of the over 25 rockers who are old enough to remember when you could still make out the words to the songs and a band either had real talent or else they didn't make it. Whether they came from a bad ass neighbourhood or not meant nothing if they couldn't hold down a tune.

I'd heard big things about this band and was surprised to hear they had managed to attract so much attention and yet only had one EP under their belts.

After a little bit more digging about and I've since found out they are currently recording their debut album. But oh what a long wait that is going to seem before it comes out after wetting our appetite with this!

The EP's cover shows a rather familiar looking gentleman giving a 2-finger victory salute, behind him is the union jack. This is actually quite apt for this band as they are most definitely British and extremely proud of it.

There's no one pretending to be something they aren't on here. The spirit of the songs are actually very reminiscent of the NWOBHM bands we had out many moons ago. Only this time around it's these guys that are flying the flag on the newest invasion into the rock world.  They are the new millennium equivalent of what The Tygers of Pan Tang were in their days. I kid you not! These guys are really that good!

The CD opens with the track 'Danger' which sounds good but a little on the traditional side when it first starts. However once it really gets going it soon wakes up and slaps you about the cheeks until you start to pay attention.

The tempo swings between loud and lively through to deep and thoughtful. Everybody's joining in with the backing vocals by the sounds of it; you can really hear them singing their lungs out with all their might.

The three guitarists and drummer sound like they are all on a mission. Thankfully they are all on the same one and this combined effort makes this a powerful little tune.

'Find a Way' is my favourite out of the four tracks. It starts off softly then crescendos into a wonderful cascade of glorious guitars without over doing it.

This could have quite easily stood up on it's own as a single it's that polished and has such a strong presence without being too overpowering.  I could actually imagine this being played in a nightclub with lots of girlies bopping along to it. It's lovely!

'Take me Higher' is another very strong individual song that gives us a glimpse of not only lead singer Glenn's great vocal range but also the wondrous harmonies of the rest of the band.

It starts strong and stays there till the very last note. This one really lets us see just how good those guitarists and that drummer can be when they set their mind to it. I dare you to refuse to sing along when the chorus comes, I bet you can't!

The last song is most definitely the strongest out of the four. The opening battle cry sounds a bit like that of Joey Tempest, but that's where any similarity ends.  'Muscle' is one of those songs that is not just near the mark, it has already been there and has broken through the ribbon at the other end of the racetrack. Wow! Can these guys get any better than this? I ask this because if they can then you'd better buckle up now as this is going to be one hell of a journey for us all.

If you heard this track being played in a rock club anywhere in the world you would automatically presume they were a hugely successful band and would probably be a bit too embarrassed to admit you didn't already have their 12 albums in your collection already.  Of course the band don't have 12 albums under their belts just yet, but if they can produce more songs like this then I could really see it being a distinct possibility in the not too distant future.

What more can I say but keep it coming and make sure you're not left behind with the weekend rockers once these guys start breaking.  It's going to happen real soon, and they aren't going to wander into the room aimlessly; they are going to storm in and show you just what you have been missing for all these years.

Copies of this EP can be obtained through Z Records at www.zrecords.net, or at one of their many gigs from around the country.

Tracklisting:

   1. Danger
   2. Find A Way
   3. Take Me Higher
   4. Muscle

                  

 

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