Rews blew us away with the release of their debut album ‘Pyro’ back in 2017, rocketing them onto the stages of some of Europe’s biggest festivals and amassing a considerable and dedicated following.
But things have changed a little in the three years since. The departure of drummer/vocalist Collette Williams made this pop-rock duo into more of a solo project for Shauna Tohill. Nothing has slowed down for Rews, though, with Tohill channelling a lot of time and energy into follow-up effort, ‘Warriors’.
That dated stereotype of alternative music of any sort being all doom and gloom should be left in the dust with this release, as rarely does any form of rock music end up so feel-good. ‘Warriors’ is track after track of rich, high octane numbers rich in bass and beat. Opener ‘Birdsong’ is an upbeat, motivational pop-ish anthem, which serves as an ideal pick-me-up to anyone needing that boost before being followed by the acidic but cathartic ‘Razorblade’. Both tracks may have a familial link with that energetic, bright sound, but represent two very different moods of Tohill.
But Rews will never let pessimism overtake them: while they’re certainly not the first to write about inner demons, ‘Monsters’ is unusual in that it sends a message of overcoming and hope, rather than that tired motif of being overwhelmed by them. Even if ‘Love Hate Song’ does play on some expected riffs of fighting hate with love (and all that jazz), you still can’t knock the message, especially when it’s put to such a suitably gritty, distorted grunge melody.
How else could you close ‘Warriors’ than on a similar note to how it started – with a life-affirming, self-appreciating track. Once again, ‘Bad Habits’ inverts those expectations of rock romanticising the detrimental, and instead encourages breaking those behaviours which only hurt us in the end.
Rock is known for its rawness and heaviness, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be empathetic and uplifting. Rews have just about single-handedly proven that with ‘Warriors’.