Scanners – Submarine (Downtown)

March 21, 2011 by  

It’s easy to let a band like Scanners pass you by. This isn’t because they are easily forgettable, it’s because they have stayed under the radar and kept an extremely low profile in the UK since their debut album Violence Is Golden. However on the other side of the pond, it was a different story. Scanners signed to Dim Mak records in Los Angeles and have had their music played on TV shows such as Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and Entourage. Even celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has been singing the praises of the alt rockers from London.

After a long wait since their debut, Scanners are now releasing their sophomore album Submarine which is about to pull them up from the depths of their British obscurity and make a big splash in the alt rock genre. The album starts off brightly with “Jesus Saves” and “We Never Close Our Eyes”, the latter sounding like Placebo in their prime thanks to the melancholic bass guitar and the lyrics painting a picture of troubled romance.

“Salvation” is delightfully dark and is the most prominent track on the album. Everything about it is very haunting and you aren’t expecting something like this to ghost in after the two indie openers. There is darkness riddled throughout the song; from the guitar to the backing vocals, the spooky chanting really underlines the sinister vibe the band are going for.
However it’s Sarah Daly’s menacing lyrics ‘I’ve been waiting for the dark to come’ and ‘I’ll take you to my grave’ which really complete the song. The tone of Daly’s voice and the delivery of these lines are extremely chilling.

The emotional range Daly displays in her vocals is what makes Submarine a mesmerising listen. She sounds beautifully sincere with her words on “Strangelovehate”, where she sings over a saddening guitar riff. An aura of true heart ache resonates throughout the song. Daly then shows a more high-spirited tone for the uplifting and upbeat tracks like “Baby Blue” and “The Day That Was The Day”. Her voice truly sparkles in “Baby Blue” where Daly gracefully overpowers the instruments and delivers some gorgeous lyrics. When listening to Submarine the theatrical tone and complicated emotions she illustrates throughout the album are very similar to that of Alison Mosshart (The Kills, Dead Weather).

The production on Submarine feels a lot smoother then Violence is Golden and this is down to American producer Stephen Hague. It may have lost some of that rawness the band displayed on their debut, but you can still feel the pain and angst presented by the post-punk guitar riffs and lyrics fuelled with anxiety. This is a grand stage for Sarah Daly and she conquers it with vocals of alluring agony, hopefully captivating listeners from the UK as well as the US.

[rating:3.5]


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