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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Flawless Carbon – Headway – EP Review

Review by Tom Coombs

Formed in late 2013 the five piece Kent band have been going from strength to strength and really started to hit the scene in 2014.  They have been building up a reputation in and around Kent and I think we will be seeing a lot more of them in 2015.

The elements of Flawless Carbon are made up of Rich Norton (Lead/Rhythm Guitar), Rob Freeman (Rhythm/Lead Guitar), Dan Acott (Bass) and Ben Gower (Drums), these guys bring a full on American/British blues rock sound, but what really sets them apart from other bands in this style of music is female vocalist and head of the band Lauren Diamond.

Together they bring some great classic riffs and beats bringing a sound which these days, gets lost in everyone trying to do too much experimental music.  They are a top bunch of musicians and they sound tight live as well as recorded.

Early February 2015 they released their début EP ‘Headway’ which was recorded at Hackney Road Studios and was produced, mixed and mastered by Graham Waller, and brings together a mix of styles that really shows what the band can do.

The EP ‘Headway’ kicks off with the track ‘Let You Down’ which starts with a variation of a classic blues riff, and it really tells you what you are going to get.  The intro is just pure blues funk, and then the vocals kick in from Lauren Diamond which really pulls in that blues feel. The track is all out in your face and really hits home from beginning to end.  Every member of the band really play their parts, you can hear everything with the right balance to make the most of all the talent held in these five wonders of musicianship.

The second track ‘Livin’ has a really grimy sound going back to that sixties guitar, just think Hendrix, it uses the distortion perfectly and works nicely with the simple riff that makes it bigger than it is.  This riff is the foundation of the track, pulling the whole sound along including the vocals. About 2:18 in there is a real nice solo which drags me back to some real classic albums from days gone by.  It is raw and heavy, and just has a superb feel.  But this isn't just homage to the old days, right after the solo the sound disappears and mellows out, with some nice guitar effects.  The vocals are more mellow, but everything slowly builds, and the it all comes back in for the chorus near the end.

I have to mention the third track ‘Just Another Memory’, it shows a different side to ‘Flawless Carbon’, pulling back the sound and making it simple and giving a slow melodic feel and this is where the talent of Lauren Diamond really shows, with a different style of song that showcases what the band can do.  It is a really beautiful song and brings that ballad feel without being a cheesy track.  I can see lighters in the air at an arena with this one.  The airy vocals that start the track are really nice to hear and this is where having female vocals really breaks the band apart from others as this style of track not just works but breaks out into the front.  Don’t get me wrong this band is all about the rock but this is just a outstanding track.

The final two tracks ‘Rewind’ and ‘Time Won’t Tell’ mix blues, rock and country together really nicely, and change the sound once again from the beginning of this five track début.  They both bring in some nice guitar work from Rich Norton and Rob Freeman and some great beats from drummer Ben Gower.   The latter of the tracks ‘Time Won’t Tell’ has a really nice heavy blues riff at the beginning and really pulls on that Deep South blues sound.

This is five tracks of pure rock, blues, country and energy. It showcases ‘Flawless Carbon’ with perfection.  It has been mixed and mastered brilliantly by Graham Waller and shows off every one of the band.  I would recommend this EP to anyone, so go and check it out on the links below and then grab a copy (link below), you won’t be disappointed. And if you can go and see them live then do so.


4 Stars – American, English, blues, rock at it's best. The elements come together and make rock shiny.


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