REAPER IN SICILY
Right, you know the score. Another day, another mediocre metalcore/pop-punk band and another press release filled with what appears to be randomly generated words and phrases. Reaper In Sicily are the band in question, ‘Islands’ is their debut album, they have proclaimed themselves to be ‘Power Pop’ and this particular PR release states that the band “will explode this year!” Well I hope, for the fans they have got, that this isn’t actually the case because it could be quite messy!
Reaper In Sicily are from South Wales and were formed in 2009, they won the award for best unsigned live act by Kerrang! Magazine and they got some airplay on BBC Radio One. Unfortunately, in 2010, guitarist Matthew Jenkins was diagnosed with leukaemia and the band took some time out until he was well enough to play again. Fortunately, he now appears to be fit and well and the band have spent the last couple of years supporting such acts Kids In Glass Houses, Hawthorne Heights and The Subways amongst others, played Reading and Leeds Festivals and have been readying this album for release. Unfortunately, ‘Islands’ is as generic as they come and there is absolutely nothing to distinguish Reaper In Sicily from any one of hundreds of bands on the scene at the present time.
Firstly, I’ll deal with my biggest gripe and that’s the vocals of Rhys Bernando. I dislike this ‘one note only’ type of screamed vocals at the best of times but Rhys does it about an octave higher than most singers of his ilk. He actually sounds like comedian Joe Pasquale chewing a wasp and it gets irritating very quickly. When he does sing, usually during the choruses, it’s still quite high and every song seems to follow a similar vocal pattern. Musically, it’s all competently played by second guitarist Jonny Chappell, bassist Mike Evans and drummer Damon Mikes but, again, everything feels very samey and the only thing I can really remember is the quite humorous, but equally annoying, song title ‘Chuck Norris Got A Chainsaw’! Production is pretty good, though, and has been handled by Romesh Dodangoda (Funeral For A Friend). I’ll also point out that the numbered track listing on the PR blurb is in a completely different running order from the numbered listing on the back of the CD. Perhaps that’s petty but I do like to try and know which track I’m listening to!
To balance my rather negative review this is, of course, aimed at a much younger audience than me; you know them...the ones still weeping from the demise of My Chemical Romance and who will probably have sticky pictures of Hayley Williams (Paramore) plastered all over their bedrooms. For those people I’m sure Reaper In Sicily will actually be seen as a cool, hardcore, dangerous and underground band; in fact, I can hear the shouts of ‘OMG’ as I type. As for me, this is all very bland and my ears need cleansing. Exodus here I come!
Review by Rick Tilley
10th June 2013
1) The Prisoner
3) Down But Not Out
5) Old Dogs
7) Sunny Dale Sucks
8) Boys Will Be Boys
9) The Catalina Wine Mixer
10) Chuck Norris Got a Chainsaw
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...as generic as they come and there is absolutely nothing to distinguish Reaper In Sicily from any one of hundreds of bands on the scene at the present time."