The last time I saw Beckon Lane in action it was in Firebug, a bar that is rapidly becoming Leicester’s musical hub thanks to the impressive and determined efforts of Resin’s Simon Yarwood. Beckon Lane, for want of a better description, kicked ass. In our review we described them as “Capable of dealing out both killer metal and power ballads with a more commercial edge, these guys should be peering out of national newspapers”, and so we were pleased indeed to be offered the chance to review their new three-track EP. Self-titled, it’s a strong statement of intent from a band with a powerful identity already working for them and, from the moment the first gruelling riff kicks in, you know you’re in for one hell of a trip.
Opening with the almighty riff of ‘Jaded’, Beckon Lane’s strength is in the varied nature of their material. If I were to draw comparisons, I might point to hints of Queensryche and early Soundgarden shot through the band’s dark, progressive-tinged metal. It’s heavy as hell, melodic and the vocals impress even more in the studio than they do on stage. It’s a belting opener and it sees the band promising big things. Next up is ‘Divided’ a track that is no less powerful. Opening with a huge, grinding riff, the band continue in the progressive metal vein of their opening track, juxtaposing soaring vocals with crushing riffs and complex changes that are clearly the result of many hours’ practice. The EP ends with the genuinely surprising power ballad ‘Lost myself’ which is an absolute highlight. Mixing power and passion in equal measure, the track has a persuasive and memorable melody that is born of real class and there’s no question that this EP will see Beckon Lane gaining new fans at a rapid rate.
The Beckon Lane EP is a testament to the amazing talent that exists in the UK underground scene today. If I have a criticism, it is that the production, whilst admirably raw, does not always quite match up to the band’s ambitions, but this is the case for so many unsigned acts and it does not detract from the music in any significant way. The musicianship is of the high standard that the band’s live show led me to expect, and the song writing is even better, particularly the excellent ‘lost myself’ which is an anthem in the making. If you like balls out heavy metal with hard-edged melodic vocals then Beckon Lane are the band for you. If there’s any justice Beckon Lane will be taking larger steps in 2016 because this EP flat-out rocks.