Siren Review by Rhonda Readence

Love Commandos spring from Birmingham England, the hometown of dark rock legend Ozzy Osbourne. Strange things seem to come from there, and this band is no exception. Strange does not always mean bad, however; in fact, strange is usually good. The album Siren starts appropriately, with the howling wail of a siren, and then we are introduced to some balls-to-the-wall rock with a definitive punk influence. Think the Misfits coupled with some of the best blazing-guitar-screaming rock you’ve ever heard. The opening track, “Barrel Of A Gun,” contains some killer musicianship, specifically the guitar work. The vocals are in-your-face and ready to be heard. Energetic and fast paced, “Barrel Of A Gun” is the perfect introduction to Love Commandos.

“This Is The Sound” is a more melodic groove and Neil Horsburgh on vocals shows us what he’s got with a strong delivery and admirable confidence. There is some nice harmonizing happening here with Neil’s lead vocals and the backing vocals, noted by the band as Ken Bearman on “odd vocals.” The vibe of this piece is one of energy and enthusiasm. “Respiration” begins with some nice guitar work, courtesy of Richard Price on lead and Rob Bates on rhythm, and the sound quality of this piece is exceptionally good. The vocals come through a little strong from time to time, but there is much going on here and the complexities of this track are noted. There are many layers to this song and each distinct layer comes through with ease.

“Red Line” is another punk inspired track with a melodic hook and a beat that will get feet tapping and heads banging. Neil’s vocals carry an almost adolescent attitude that gives a sense of youth and rebellion to this song. The instrumentation is fantastic and this track may very well be the signature Love Commandos song. “Breed” takes the album to a new level with intricate techno sounds and a spacey vibe that is only made more evident with the vocals. Half sung and half shouted, the delivery gives new dimensions to this band. They have just proven that they are more than capable of changing up the rhythms and giving listeners something more diverse and hard core than the preceding tracks. There is a sense of fury that accompanies the music to this piece and this one will be yet another fun song to see performed live, as people crowd surf and mosh themselves to near death.

Siren moves onward with “Me and the Ghost of You,” a somewhat slower song that feels like their true groove. This shows a softer side and a more melodic vocal delivery that will endear it to listeners. Richard Price on guitar simply rocks this song to hell and back, and the talent amongst this collective is made evident with this track. “Life (Theme From ‘An American Sitcom’)” starts off with some nice drumming by Andy Hubble, and Ken Bearman on bass. The rhythm of this song is almost sing-song and the vibe is energetic, optimistic and uplifting. The title leaves one to wonder if there is a bit of a sarcastic angle to this track, as it seems to embody the epitome of an American Sitcom, where life is just dandy and the music makes you feel good. Truly, the tone of this will make one think of an American sitcom and there may be a sense of sarcasm here, but this doesn’t detract from the fact that the tune itself is very good and the beat is catchy. Neil’s vocals are very well done in this piece, and it’s at this point that listeners will get a good appreciation of his range.

Siren begins to close with “Into Dust (Take It All The Way)” and Ken Bearman on bass opens this one. The lyrics are rather deep and the rhythm of this song varies from staccato to melodic with nary an issue. Love Commandos do know how to manipulate a song and the transitions are done with skill and perfection. The guitar work on this track is simply fantastic and listeners will be enthralled with this offering. The closing track is titled “Babylon” and it flat out rocks. Love Commandos started their album Siren with the perfect song, and they ended it with the perfect song. The album flows smoothly from beginning to end and the talent of this band is made evident throughout. Neil’s vocals are complimented extraordinarily well by the rest of the band and each member adds their own unique flair to create an experience that is more than pleasurable to behold. Energetic, optimistic and talented, Love Commandos have the power to rock the music world.

Review by Rhonda Readence
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Rhonda Readence is a freelance writer based in Cleveland, OH and Pittsburgh, PA. Her love of music began at age two when she began dancing to Elvis, and has blossomed into the all consuming monster that it is today. Formerly a writer for Exciting City Magazine, Rhonda has interviewed many bands and written about genres ranging from punk to metal to classic rock to jazz. She also enjoys going to as many live shows as possible. A one-time protégé of Neon Cactus Studios, Rhonda has also dabbled in the art of production and engineering.

Original review available here.