Scratch Matinée | The Scarlet Ice

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Rock: Rock opera Metal/Punk: Heavy Metal Moods: Mood: Brooding
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The Scarlet Ice

by Scratch Matinée

Here's a kind of Gothic little tale about a murder, with a macabre and theatrical theme. Musically it’s a real up-tempo driving punky rocker with lots of energy, hints of Alkaline Trio and perhaps Enuff Z’ Nuff.
Genre: Rock: Rock opera
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"The name CHRIS FRANCIS will probably not ring a bell for most of us, but when mentioning the name of his former band TEN, the eyebrows of most AOR/Melodic Rockfans out there will be raised. Chris also has a solo career going, with 2 previous albums and now the British Guitarist/Songwriter returns with his 3rd CD ‘Notes from the incurable’, although this time as a project called SCRATCH MATINEE. Musically speaking it is different than TEN, but still rocks quite hard here and there. The Rock however is a little more experimental than the TEN sound, as in fact it sounds like a cross between MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE and QUEEN, so more modern sounding most of the time, although the songs also contain some nice melodic choruses. Actually the sound may be labeled as Melodic Hard rock, yet with a different approach. The guitar work of Chris is very impressive and in the end it somehow reminds me a bit of the late 90s HAREM SCAREM albums (and a little DEF LEPPARD due to the multi-layered harmony vocals being used – although QUEEN might then as well again be mentioned here of course). Quality stuff for sure and recommended to check out" Gabor Kleinbloesem, Strutter Magazine

"Chris Francis is a great musician, a first rate guitarist, and he, like so many musicians, has more to offer the listening public than just guitar-centered music, and this project offers him an outlet for these very creative ideas.

[Scratch Matinee] is mostly a rock drama, musically a rock backdrop, with emphasis on characters that are created through the lyrical content of the music. One has to follow the story lines that are incorporated to keep some clarity of the meaning of the music. The music is pretty straight forward, with some solos from Chris, to remind us that he is not just a standard, generic player. As for the music itself, well, if you like AOR-ish rock, with likable vocals, and good playing, it's a good find. Give this one a shot." M.J. Brady, Proggnosis.com

"Overall the music is more in keeping with Queen (a few Brian May approved licks here and there), Lillian Axe (the way the music can be uplifting yet the lyrics are very bleak) and Radiohead, for the use of distorted guitars rather than vocals.

'Summer Days' is perhaps the most instant song on here and it reminded me of Lillian Axe in the 90's mode - a dark lyric wrapped up in a very melodic song...
...Full marks to Chris Francis as he resists the urge to flood each song with endless guitar solos, preferring to scatter them throughout the album as well as providing some big riffs. Don't go expecting a Ten spin-off but if your bag is Queen, Lillian Axe and modern rock then look no further." Jason Ritchie, Get Ready To Rock.com

"Although an unknown band name the principal founder’s is an instantly familiar one. Chris Francis, former lead shredder for Manc AOR goliaths, Ten resurfaces with a new project that will surprise or shock fans of his earlier catalogue of musical wonder-stuffs, or both.

For the latest thirteen songs he has created Chris takes a clipping of every hedge round the musical lawn and plants them to create his own pretty sounding shrubs. Metal, blues, 60's, grunge, industrial and the inevitable very hard rock edge all come up in their equal cut of the action substantiating tunes like ‘The Scarlet Ice’, ‘Those Long Winter Evenings’, ‘Horror Show’, ‘New Moon Monday’, 'Mother Medicine', ‘Ward 19’ and 'Mr Spencer’ to a delightful hilt.

The unmistakable Francis solo sound is still about, make no mistake, his own retro twist taking advantage of having his own machine to drive and he proves to have been benefiting from listening to his Tom Jones collection before writing; Its not unusual, well maybe again it is but ‘N.F.T.I.’ is unusually great for it and with an impressive Kroeger -like delivery from Phil Pilsworth, Chris’ career continues to mount a high rung.
9/10
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Queen ,Nickelback, Bush, Beatles & Madness." Dave Attrill, Metalliville.co.uk


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