Review By Darren McIntyre
The Blue Lena is a new rock band based around the songwriting partnership of former Treason vocalist & Crywolf / The Tattooed Love Boys guitarist Nick Singleton. During the lockdown of 2020/21, the boys started writing & recording new music with the result being Darkwood, this was the studio where the magic poured from, with the help of some sterling musicians who are at the top of their game we are presented with 12 incredible tracks that bring us stories of the pairs own lives & experiences. The band make their Winterstorm debut this weekend and I will be bringing you this colossal slab of Southern Country / Blues Rock to get us ready to have our senses tingled wildly.
Last Chance Saloon – Right out the gate comes a sludgy riffed guitar lick that is bringing a honky tonk style piano groove that gives this track depth, attitude and soul. The rhythm section is handing us solid snare drum beats that wrap themselves around this foot-stomping rock n roll juggernaut, we get gravelly blues-soaked vocals that just elevate this epic opening track as the soulful backing vocals get this track moving. Basslines are handing us deep melodic tones that let the whole arrangement bring the soulful country blues effect kicking and screaming to us tonight, this has everything you could ask for from an opening track and then some.
Sanctity – Slick gritty guitar riffs erupt and let this bad boy do its thing as the sweet melodic vocals roll through the intro and let the awesome Hammond style keys take this track onwards. The rhythm section is coming in and dropping cool snare drum beats that combine with bass kicks that give this track body and depth, we have slick clean licks that are driving this arrangement forward as the killer vocals kick in the doors and let us have. The tempo changes up a notch as the sweet clean crisp licks give it to us as we feel the southern effect punch through this fantastic piece of music, we get a real dark, delicious bassline that drops epic tones all through this well-versed slab of blues that is just on the money.
Only When She’s Dancing – Crisp riffs are surrounded by a full-on rhythm section as the snare drum beats just take this track down the road and let it loose to draw us in. The killer keys are on another level for sure as they command the attention as we just settle back and feel the foot-stomping groove grab a hold of us and just let the tone flow, the backing vocals let the track open and soar as we just let the band do their thing as this guitar-laden rock n roll piece takes off down the road and gives it to us. The tempo changes direction as a slick crisp solo fills the air and just lets the groove flow and let the funk element deliver.
Nashville Song – Guitar ripples flow from the intro as a real bluesy Hammond-style keys section erupts and gives this track a rocking ballad feel that is just awesome. The gravelly vocals work perfectly with this sweet melodic track as the rhythm section hits us with solid beats and cymbal crashes that take this track to another place, we have meaty basslines dropping funky grooves all through this arrangement as it just flows effortlessly through and tells its own story as this fist-pumping rocker builds and builds as the killer backing vocals grab our attention as this country classic groove just takes us to another place.
The Wrong Side Of Midnight – Returning to rock n roll duties we get a real tinkling piano vibe to kick off this foot-stomping country groove-laden beast as the cool vocals break the silence and let this awesome track do its thing. The pounding rhythm section is directing the traffic as the cool backing vocals let this track open and soar as we feel the honky tonk groove grab hold of us. The full-on bassline lets the funk groove flow as the whole track just rises and lets the tone tell us where this track is going. The sweet keys that are just on point are running perfectly with this guitar-drenched rock n roll beast as we get epic licks that just make this track sing.
Can You Feel The Rain – Slick gritty guitar riffs open this cool piano-laden number as the gravelly vocals come in and let the tone just flow and let us feel the tempo take us down the road. The vocals are just bringing a real mellow feel to this punchy rocking track as the rhythm section hits us with bass kicks that bring real attitude, the tinkling keys just settle us into a bluesy groove that lets the backing vocals soar as they tell us that this band are the real deal as they deliver another colossal groove-laden number that is building and building with ease as the gravelly soaked vocals work well and let the classy guitar licks rain down on us and really give it to us with all it has.
Something Bout The Way – Sweet Hammond-style keys erupt from the off as this gritty rocker track kicks in the doors and brings us a sweet country-feeling track that has plenty in the tank as we just sit back and feel the groove. The rhythm section is hitting us with funky pounding snare drum beats that come armed with plenty to shout about as this thundering beast brings the heat and then some, the colossal smokey vocals are just on the money as they work so well with the harmonious backing vocals that are littered throughout this fantastic piece of music. This is a real foot stomper as we just lose ourselves in the groove as it pours through the mid-section and delivers big time.
Undertow – The connection between keys and gritty guitar licks is just incredible as a heavy pounding rhythm section lets this growling beast erupt and bring the noise. This is a real show-stopper track that has all the elements of a cool blues club track that has real depth and direction as the groove is pouring through this epic arrangement. We get slick gritty guitar licks that just elevate this monster to the next level as we feel the groove run effortlessly through this fantastic track as the tempo shifts and drifts off with soulful blues vocals that just stop you in your tracks for sure. This is a real stand-out track for me as we get all the elements of a country hoe down that brings attitude with fantastic backing vocals that just shine.
Long Way Home – Wah Wah pedals are letting this Keys-soaked track come to life and bring the groove as the soulful vocals unleash a cool backing vocal that lets us feel the depth of this incredible band. The full-on bassline is handing us meaty grooves that wrap themselves around this fantastic track as the groove warms up and brings slick sweet chords that flow effortlessly through this killer track that brings all the elements together as this oozing number lets us feel the southern blues influence tell it’s own story as the guys dig deep and hit us with crisp clean licks that are wrapped in epic keys that just drive this phenomenal track onwards.
Frozen – The tempo is slowed a little as this blues-soaked piece opens and brings in soaring melodic vocals that take this track off down the road. The bassline is giving us sweet cool delicious tones that work perfectly with a punchy rhythm section that is handing us bass kicks with solid snare drum beats that let this rocking monster thrive with ease. The melodic backing harmonies are just incredible as they add depth and soul to this already powering beast that is dropping epic Hammond-style keys on us as slick clean guitar licks deliver a faultless tone that just works, the cool backing vocals are soaring through the mid-section and adding depth to this toe-tapping country style arrangement.
Sometimes – Acoustic strumming tones are pouring from the intro as epic Hammond keys deliver a blues tone that is incredible as the vocals bring a real smokey tone that lets this rocking ballad do its thing. The killer vocals flow well as the harmonies wrap themselves around this crunching beast as the groove hits us with all it has, the rhythm section delivers solid punches as the bass kicks tell their own story and let this track open and take us to another place as we drift off and let the colossal lyrics wash over us as this story unfolds and tells us that all is going to be ok. The whole arrangement is just a powering piece of blues rock that has elements that just stop us in our tracks as the sweet slick guitar chords march on and give this track such a rocking feel that it will have you reaching for the repeat button.
What Do You Want – Ending on a real gritty rasping guitar riff as the honky tonk keys make themselves known and let this harmonious rocker do its thing. The killer gravelly vocals are just on form as they mix well with the epic backing vocals that come at us and just give this track a real rocking country feel as the towering vocals shatter the air as the pounding rhythm section brings awesome cymbal crashes that bring in the cool piano tones that are wrapped in bass kicks as the track begins to build and drive forward as we near the end of this colossal album that is a real shot in the arm for sure as we get classy gritty guitar licks that are working well with a deep funking bassline that has driven hard through this fantastic closing track as the melodic backing vocals take us off down the road.
The Blue Lena –
Peter Yeomans – Vocals
Nick Singleton – Guitar
Richie Yeates – Guitar / Vocal Harmonies
Martin Raggett – Bass
Matt Raynor – Keys / Vocal Harmonies
Fi Channon – Harmony / Lead Vocals / Percussion
Jon Clayton – Drums
Track Listing –
Las Chance Saloon
Only When She’s Dancing
The Wrong Side Of Midnight
Can You Feel The Rain
Something Bout The Way
Long Way Home
Sometimes What You Want