Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Scanner: “Just A Hint Of Mayhem” (2023) CD Review

Scanner, a band founded back in 1979, continues to release cool music that combines rock and punk elements and attitudes, their songs generally touching upon horror-related themes. The band’s new EP, Just A Hint Of Mayhem, contains a mix of original material and covers. The band is made up of Joe Brady on lead vocals and bass, Junnie Fortney on guitar, and Ray Hawkins on drums.

The EP opens with an original number titled “Roky, Where Are You?” that quickly becomes a solid punk rock number. It has a great driving beat, a strong pulse, and some seriously good guitar work. I’m so glad music like this is still being written and recorded. Music to help us let out some of our energy, music to make us bounce around in whatever space we find ourselves. It has that sort of power, not only in its beat, but in the vocal performance. It’s an excellent opening track. It’s followed by a cover of David Bowie’s “Big Brother,” a song from his Diamond Dogs album. This isn’t the first time Scanner has covered Bowie. The band included “Suffragette City” on Coverups, the cover of that release being a nod to Bowie’s Pinups. And it is “Big Brother” that gives this EP its title in the lines, “He’ll build a glass asylum/With just a hint of mayhem.” These guys do a good job with this song, again delivering some strong work on guitar.

“Just Me And The Ghost” is another original composition, a rock song with a good deal of energy. I especially appreciate these lines: “There are no gates of hell/There is no final bell/We don’t just fade away/Now is forever.” There is a cool moment when the track seems about to end, then kicks backs in, that rhythm having a great punk feel. The EP then concludes with a cover of “Ring Of Fire.” I’ve heard some fantastic renditions of this song over the years, most recently by Old Californio in concert just the other day, and this one ranks pretty high among them. These guys, as you might guess, totally rock this song, the energy being like that on the Dick Dale version from Unknown Territory. And I love the way Joe Brady delivers the word “wild” in the line “Oh, but the fire went wild,” tearing into the word and letting loose. It is indeed wild. This is a fun rendition. I hope I get a chance to see this band perform this song in concert someday.

CD Track List

  1. Roky, Where Are You?
  2. Big Brother
  3. Just Me And The Ghost
  4. Ring Of Fire

Just A Hint Of Mayhem was released on September 22, 2023.

No comments:

Post a Comment