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Rhode Island Red - "Kerosene" (CD/EP)

Rhode Island Red - "Kerosene" CD/EP cover image

"Kerosene" track listing:

1. Kerosene
2. Beige
3. Stalemate

Reviewed by on June 19, 2011

"An excellent hard rock EP full of great guitar licks and powerful vocals, here's hoping 'Kerosene' lights the way to bigger and better things for Rhode Island Red."

A self-described combination of Garbage and the Cult, Rhode Island Red serves up some fine female-fronted hard rock on the "Kerosene" EP. It's an excellent disc that definitely serves to increase one's appetite for a full-length disc from these London-based rockers.

Singer Lyla D'Souza is definitely the star here, with a voice that's a bit reminiscent of Garbage's Shirley Manson. D'Souza shows an impressive range, going from the slinky vocals of "Kerosene" ("you light me on fire, honey, drench me with your kerosene"), to the angry shouts of "Beige" and finally to the beautiful balladry of "Stalemate."

Guitarists Andrea Basiola and Dave Garfield more than earn their keep on the title track alone, with stinging leads that perfectly punctuate D'Souza's vocals. their acoustic work on "Stalemate" is also impressive. It's not exactly a criticism to say that bassist Mike McGuinness and drummer Rha Stranges don't call much attention to themselves, given that they pull off their supporting role quite well.

There's not much to criticize here, save that "Stalemate" is a little weak, lyrically speaking. Frankly, the biggest complaint to be had is that at 14 minutes, the EP left me wanting more.

An excellent hard rock EP full of great guitar licks and powerful vocals, here's hoping "Kerosene" lights the way to bigger and better things for Rhode Island Red.

Highs: Excellent vocals and playing, with "Kerosene" the EP's best track.

Lows: Some weak lyrics on "Stalemate."

Bottom line: An excellent female-fronted hard rock disc.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)