MAY 11th 2014

Review By: Anka

No Sky Today is the heavy rock project put together by guitarist/keyboardist Wayne Findlay (Michael Schenker Group/ Slavior/ Vinnie Moore band) and vocalist Paul Jones. Their self titled debut release is a refreshing sample of modern rock with heavy touches that is sure to entertain and keep you rocking throughout the 12 songs.

What strikes me from the very beginning is the grungy sound. Although the music is still very much within the hard rock territory, there are plenty of inflexions that remind of the grunge era. But this time, it’s a more refined version that doesn’t have half the heaviness or moodiness. The beefy sound and the smooth production make this an easy listen and give it lots of radio play potential.

The diluted grunge sound is successfully compensated by fist-pumping rhythms and bold rock riffing, accompanied by beautiful melodic lines. There’s good song writing and there’s more substance than you’d expect on such a record. The rather calculated aggressiveness is specific to alternative rock but the pure attitude makes the music. Of course, watch out for some generic formulas and predictable riff patterns that might be dampening your enthusiasm at times, especially if you have just listened to a few similar bands before (which unfortunately was exactly my case).

The greatest thing about the album is that it experiments with varied influences and styles, from one song to another. “Grinder” gets closer to a heavy metal realm, “Break Up” has a bit of a bluesy feel, while the heavy ballad “Escape” seems to change the harmonic register a bit and goes towards a more introspective, alternative sound while bringing in some sweet keyboards. The 2 minute “Intermezzo” might be my favorite piece on the album, an acoustic, jazzy moment with diaphanous keyboards that leaves grunge elements aside.

Overall, this is a well balanced album with potential to take the band to the next level. Definitely a band to keep an eye on - if this is kind of rock is usually on your radar, or if you miss the good ol’ grunge days. No Sky Today are: Wayne Findlay (guitars and keyboards), Paul Jones (vocals), Joe Viers (bass), Pete Homes (drums).