Review: South Of Eden – ‘The Talk’

The artists formerly known as Black Coffee return as South Of Eden. New name, same high-quality rock ‘n’ roll. If you enjoyed them as Black Coffee, then you will sure as hell dig them as South Of Eden.

Vocalist Ehab Omran still possesses the same killer, high-end vocals featured on previous Black Coffee release ‘Take One’, but he’s added funkier, soulful tones to his repertoire (especially on the bodacious ‘Solo’) and the end result is quite staggering.

Kicking off with ‘The Talk’, complete with a lovely retro-feel to the melodious guitars, the four-track EP offers a short respite from the white noise of the outside world by taking the listener on a bit of a magic carpet ride. ‘The Talk’ is one of those moments where multiple influences shine through; a touch of Aerosmith here, a touch of GNR there, a bit of AC/DC now and again (mainly the drums). All wrapped up with fiery fretboard fireworks from Justin Young, and vocal gymnastics from Omran; pay particular attention to the extended note that Omran holds as the song reaches its conclusion, spectacular would be a gross understatement.

‘Solo’ is all about the funk from bassist Nick Frantianne and his brother in rhythm; drummer Tom McCullough, who happens to have packed a cowbell for the occasion. Omran mostly reigns in the high-notes on ‘Solo’ and keeps it grounded with earthy tones, while Young delivers a Joe Perry-like performance throughout; definitely a young guitarist to look out for. Young (what a fantastic surname for a guitarist to have) impresses throughout the cool, mellow vibes of ‘Morning Brew’, in fact, he claims the opening few minutes as his own with an extended intro perfect enough to send shredders racing to the nearest dictionary to look up the definition of “soul”. He keeps it going throughout the 4:43 minutes that the track runs for and the only thing left for the listener to do is hit the repeat button. The Aerosmith influence hinted at earlier comes crashing through on closing track ‘Dancing With Fire’; ‘Rats In The Cellar’ done 2020-style? Fuck and yeah. If only Aerosmith had sounded as urgent as this on those last few studio albums. The drum work from McCullough is exemplary and he controls the pace throughout like all good drummers should, when he locks into a groove with Frantianne, it truly is magnificent. Omran is having a blast throughout on a track that sounds like it was recorded right-here-right-now. Great stuff.

Black Coffee showed great promise, Classic Rock Magazine got on board, as they also have now that the band has re-branded as South Of Eden. They’ve got the chops to go with the material, perhaps all that is needed now is a bit of luck?

‘The Talk’ is available now through LAVA / Republic Records, connect with South Of Eden here.

Review – Dave

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