Pick Your Rock and Metal

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Physicists now know what The Answer is...rock 'n' feckin' roll on a New Horizon

THE great sci-fi humourist Douglas Adams once postulated that the answer to life, the universe and everything could not exist in the same universe as the question...and as physicists across the globe struggle to find the answer to everything, we in Belfast know there is only one answer on the horizon and it is a New Horizon of rock 'n' roll.

The Answer are loud and proud; they are energised with their fourth album New Horizon storming to one good review after another; and on Friday, 11th October they kicked off a tour that is sure to lift them to yet loftier heights.

Opening for the County Down rockers were Cage The Gods. Drawn from across the British Isles they are a perfect fit as openers. Strong, blues influenced rock, delivered with panache plus the added bonus according to some of the ladies in the crowd of having an ample supply of eye candy on display.

With a few refinements to arrangements and stage craft Cage the Gods could be the real deal in a short period of time. It'll be worth seeing how their debut release works out when they release the ep 'Favourite Sin' in November.

But when it comes to great tunes, stagecraft and an overall fantastic live show The Answer have perfected their art.

After a difficult period in the band's history The Answer have emerged, strident and defiant with new management, new label and a new album worthy of anything other pretenders to their throne have released in the past decade.

And it was with the type of  fuck you attitude that makes everyone grin manically when they emerged on to the Limelight's stage with the title track of the album delivered with a malicious smile: they know how good it is, and it seems as if the crowd do too: for an album not long released there was an immediate mass singalong.

Cormac is perhaps in someways a throwback to when frontmen were expected to be jesters, leading the crowd in a merry dance in the best sense of the words; but to say he is a throwback misses the complements he deserves. He is not harkening back to yesteryear. He has almost helped re-invent the position of the lead singer; taking the best of the past with the best of the present.

And what a set of pipes he has - displayed to their best on the single Spectacular (which was performed with an air of almost soothing yearning for lost youth and youth still to be re-discovered), Concrete and standards like Preacher.that all encapsulate what is great about The Answer

That blend of old and new was balanced well. Long time fans know that The Answer can deliver; but the shot in the arm Toby Jepson seems to have given them on the new album has perhaps, taken them to the proverbial 'next level.

Mickey's bass in particular is allowed to flow freely, for once higher in prominence, allowing Paul's guitar work to develop yet more as he nods to heroes of the blues and rock with flourish after flourish; all the time when the ever grinning Mr Heatley behind the kit has a smile that threatens to split his face.

The Answer always seem to enjoy themselves on stage. No-one but their closest confidantes ever know what troubles and travails they have behind the scenes. But as they exited from the stage at the Limelight this first date of their European tour sees the band determined; focussed on one thing - rocking for all their worth. And they genuinely seemed to be enjoying this show as much as the crowd.

With hard rock enjoying something of a resurgence the ability of bands to stand out from the pack is ever more difficult. On the strength of this performance and the astounding new album the horizon has never seemed so bright a destination to chase for The Answer.

We know that the rest of the audiences on this tour are in for a treat -a superb performance from a superb band. Yes, we may be biased as they are from our neck of the woods, but even the most skeptical of observers cannot fail but be impressed by The Answer.

New Horizon is currently available on Napalm Records and you can catch The Answer right now as they tour the UK and Europe.

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