SadHayena – Emergency
Release Date: 30th September 2017
If you’re a big fan of the theatrical musical stylings of 80’s hard rock and heavy metal then Sadhayena may be just the band you’re looking for. Approaching their sound with all the sleazy swagger associated with that era, this young French four piece, based in Nantes are clearly on a mission to keep that ethos alive. If, as is the case for me, the appellation of hair metal sets alarm bells ringing, then their ten track debut album Emergency may prove to be a more mixed proposition.
Things kick off with the title track Emergency which is a pretty good representation of the album in it’s entirety, with big riffs, extended solos and a prominent bass drum overlaid with glam metal inspired vocals. It’s a formula that is deployed repeatedly to varying degrees of success. There are a couple of exceptions though, Shadows and Moonlight has the addition of a flute in the introductory bars, which is evocative more of Jethro Tull than Junkyard. However this is a brief interlude and the song soon returns to familiar territory. Probably the most notable diversion is on the final track No More Chains, which is a stripped back acoustic number comprised of just vocals and guitar. The more subdued tone works quite well as an outro and provides a counterpoint to the rest of the record.
The video for the lead single No Time to Waste shows the band performing on a deserted road somewhere, a simple premise that is well shot and looks like the band are enjoying themselves. The singer has a Skid Row T-shirt on and the influence of that band’s vocal delivery is palpable. There is also a touch of Axl Rose’s phrasing in the mix, albeit in a more Gallic register and the band are also clearly sartorially inspired by the Guns n Roses frontman. The song isn’t bad, demonstrating a strong vocal range and some decent guitar sections, though my favourite part is probably the outro riff supported by splashy cymbals, which has a Southern rock inflection to it.
In fairness to Sadhayena, Emergency is a more nuanced album than my first impression of it suggested. There are some hints of a more contemporary influence rather than being solely indebted to the sounds of Motley Crue, Def Leppard et al. What they do, they do pretty well and I could imagine that one of their live sets would be entertaining. However while I did find that the album provided moments of interest and for a debut album it is confidently delivered, it is not one that I will be returning to with any particular rush.
Recommended track: No Time to Waste