EP Review: The Rising Souls – Set Me Free

The Edinburgh soul men are back with a riff-laden renewed sense of identity

WITH a new line-up, The Rising Souls are finally making the music THEY want to listen to.

Much like a fantasy epic, the story of The Rising Souls can be split into three ages.

The first age set the scene with the almost-forgotten about Slow Blue, before a complete re-fit saw The Souls adopt a powerful acoustic sound on their self-titled breakthrough and follow-up Yardbird.

Now entering their third age with a new line-up and EP on the way, The Rising Souls are finally at peace with the music they are making.

The only constant throughout? Dave Archibald and his jaw-dropping vocal. It litters Set Me Free with all it’s soulful, gritty grandeur.

The Rising Souls (L-R) are: Joe Catterson (guitar), Roy "Kelso" Laing (bass), Dave Archibald (vocals, guitar) and Reece Braid (drums).
The Rising Souls (L-R) are: Joe Catterson (guitar), Roy “Kelso” Laing (bass), Dave Archibald (vocals, guitar) and Reece Braid (drums).

Roy “Kelso” Laing remains on bass from the previous incarnation, but a change in direction has seen Joe Catterson (guitar) and Reece Braid (drums) join a souped up Souls.

Recorded and produced by Ian Kelosky and Dan Reed in Prague, Set Me Free is a punchy EP designed to make people sit up and take note.

Opening with the chugging bass and guitar of ‘Narcos’, Archibald manages to create a fraught atmosphere with his emotive lyricism and raucous vocal on the cathartic chorus.

Title track ‘Set Me Free’ is a soulful stormer set to the backdrop of ’70s heavy rock. Think Otis Redding with a Led Zeppelin backing band. Reminiscent of the meaty, industrial sounds that made early The Black Keys records so successful, the song has nice spacing and driving, cymbal heavy drums.

‘Walk On’ has a swagger that cannot be taught and at times a sense of proggy, psychedelia the likes of Pink Floyd and Tame Impala would be proud of.  Watch out for the intoxicating breakdown towards the end of the track: your feet will be tapping furiously.

The EP ends on the heavy attack of ‘Learn To Love Me’ where Archibald is able to explore his full vocal range in a song that completely encapsulates what the third age of The Rising Souls is going to be all about.

Rock soul: powerful vocals, huge riffs and plenty of attitude.

The Rising Souls will launch the Set Me Free EP at The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh on November 26. Get tickets here for £10.

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