Ablaze – No Chaser
Released: October 8th, 2018
Danny Slaviero – Lead Vocals
Matt Lentile – Bass/Vocals
Dan ‘Mango’ Mangano – Drums/Vocals
Ben Anderson – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Matt Dynon – Rhythm guitar/Vocals
Melbourne’s Ablaze have come out all guns blazing with their debut full length album, and as the title suggests No Chaser is required as this is 12 solid shots of Rock N Roll that will kick your ass. Formed in 2010 as a bunch of mates fresh out of high school who had a love of Australian hard rock Ablaze have certainly cut their teeth and worked hard to perfect their craft. With a couple of lineup changes over the course of the band’s history, they have settled with a lineup that works incredibly well together live and No Chaser confirms their songwriting and execution chops are world class.
In early 2018 Ablaze headed into Lighthill Sound Recording in Riddells Creek, Victoria to begin laying down the 12 track debut album, with master producer and engineer Ricki Rae. Blood, sweat and tears clearly went into every recording. Ricki clearly pushing the band for their absolute best. Tony ‘Jack the Bear’ Mantz (Deluxe Mastering) has also done a stellar job polishing this masterpiece to a blinding finish.
Hard work, determination and above most passion for what they do is certainly paying off for this powerhouse quintet. 2018 has been a massive year for these guys kicking off the year opening up the hugely successful Under The Southern Stars festival which featured Jimmy Barnes, Richie Sambora, Orianthi, Diesel, Richard Clapton, Ash Grunwald and Dallas Crane. They have supported Australian rock legends The Screaming Jets and Electric Mary, while playing as many shows as possible.
What is most impressive with No Chaser is that it shows how well these young guys understand how to write and execute a great song. Picking an MVP for the album cannot be done as every single performance compliments the other. Together, the band forms the five fingers that make the fist and the hit so hard. The killer opening riff of ‘Back for More’ sets the tone for a feel-good sing-along anthem. As the opening line says “Get in, Sit Down, Shut Up, Hang on tight”. Yep, I wanna be a part of this ride. The gang vocals in the chorus just add more speed to the ride. Ben Anderson‘s solo is blistering, technical and so much fun. You have my attention. ‘Dirty Little Secret’, I first heard live while the guys were on their Just A Taste Single Tour. It was instantly lodged well inside my head and had me humming it to myself long after the gig. As a song it stands alone well, I’m just not sure about how well it is placed in the playing order of the album. ‘Kings and Queens’ has a really cool groove driven riff. It shows off the soulful grit of Danny Slaverio’s voice. The powerhouse riff leading into the chorus has a euro metal flavor to it which works incredibly well. This track leads seamlessly straight into the album’s first single. ‘Just a Taste’ was the first single from No Chaser and it was an appetizer for what was to come. The main riff and anthemic sing-along chorus make this the perfect lead single, such a great introduction to the album.
Next up is ‘(We’re Gonna) Rock n’ Roll’ and while this song has a ton of swagger, it is possibly my least favorite song on the record. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a great song that shows off the incredible talent these guys have. But for me, it is just missing some of the magical ingredients that the other songs have. Unfortunately, I can’t pinpoint what it is. ‘Bad Tattoo’ – Big main riff, tongue in cheek lyrics, huge gang style chorus, fun, fun, fun. ‘The Darkest Day (What I’ve Bbecome)’ is the albums only ballad, but what a blinder it is !! Sultry, emotive and haunting vocals Danny’s delivery is amazing. This has it all from its mellow piano beginning to the searing solo and the powerful crescendo it is a near perfect ballad.
‘Long Way Home’ is a mid-tempo blues rocker. Danny pushes his vocal chops and delivers perfectly. The groove is strong and again if you can stop your foot from tapping during this song, you are a more restrained person than I am. ‘Twos Up’ – The early AC/DC influence is obvious, it’s a balls out straightforward rocker that just induces a smile; add a twist of classic KISS and you have this !! Crank it !!! ‘Where’s My Drink’ is a rocking twist on an Irish jig. Thin Lizzy come to mind with this track. It’s a fun little track about drinking that will no doubt be a centrepiece of the live show and crowd interactions. ‘Bottom of My Bottle ‘is my favorite vocal performance on the record hands down. Danny is passionate convicted and inspired with his vocal performance, here he has pushed himself. This song given commercial radio play would break this band in a big way. Think Jimmy Barnes at his finest throw in some Jon Stevens charm and a touch of soul all on top of a really well-written acoustic-based song. Think ‘Hole Hearted’ by Extreme done in true Aussie style. ‘Bar Fight Blues’ is so much fun and has all of the hallmark charm of David Lee Roth era Van Halen. This song could be the bastard child of ‘Ice Cream Man’. Love it !!! ‘No Chaser’ is simply ear candy, with its huge riffs, loud guitars, ass-kicking drumming, earworm choruses, infectious feel-good grooves and incredible musicianship.
Live these guys are amazing and what you hear on this record is what you get live. Stand out tracks Bottom Of My Bottle, Two’s Up, Where’s My Drink, Back For More, Just A Taste. As a debut full-length album, No Chaser sets the bar extremely high and shows their intentions and ability to become the next band to proudly fly the Aussie flag worldwide. Catch them at their Album launch show on Friday in Melbourne, details here.
Ablaze – No Chaser tracklisting
1. Back For More
2. Dirty Little Secret
3. Kings & Queens
4. Just a Taste
5. (We’re Gonna) Rock n’ Roll
6. Bad Tattoo
7. The Darkest Day (What I’ve Become)
8. Long Way Home
9. Two’s Up
10. Where’s My Drink?
11. Bottom of My Bottle
12. Bar Fight Blues