Time To Take Notice

For a band that have been renowned in the past for their constant touring, the past year has been somewhat quiet in the Cars On Fire camp, but quiet doesn't mean that the quartet have been lazy, resting on their laurels so to speak, oh no, the Bristol band have certainly been toiling away and finally have a new album to show for all their hard work. The follow up to 2009's Dig Your Own Graves, Black Hearts And Bloody Hands, is an album that screams maturity, highlighting just how much Cars On Fire have grown as a band whilst still retaining the raw energy and promise of their previous release, suggesting once again that they are on the cusp of something big.

From the very first guttural growl that scratches its way out of the speakers on opener Borders, Cars On Fire plunge you into a schizophrenic white knuckle ride that refuses to slow down. Wielding harsh tones that bounce from brutal hostility to smoothly melodic with effortless ease, Black Hearts And Bloody Hands is a whirlwind of heart pumping rock, punk and hardcore topped off with infectious hooks that take no prisoners. There is no escape as the Bristol four-piece lay siege from the adrenaline packed punch of SEX Death Sex DEATH to the frantic infectiousness of Quarter Deck Confession that oozes hardcore aggression wrapped in a perfectly British sense of cool. Indeed things in Cars On Fire world are far from straightforward, a fact that makes them extremely exciting, unflinchingly engaging and unquestionably interesting. As the raw meets the smooth, Cars On Fire manage to bring everything to the table, flitting from brutal ferocity to catchy choruses that wouldn't look amiss on a pop rock track with a effortless grace to be envied. Of Grace And Bones finds the band calling upon Fightstar's Charlie Simpson for some extra help with vocals as the band allows their melodic underbelly to take centre stage revealing a calmness that explodes into a soaring anthem. That's not to say they've gone soft on us; heavy riffs still snarl and bite as Cars On Fire unleash throat aching growls alongside a catchy chorus (rivalled only by the momentous hook heavy Marchioness Of The Night) making for a rollercoaster ride of a track full of soul soaring highs, heart wrenching lows and enough dark anger to scare the hell out of anyone.

Ingeniously unpredictable, Black Hearts And Bloody Hands leaps from melodic to ferocious effortlessly, happy to smack you around the head one minute with anger fed riffs and raw energy before wrapping a consoling melodic fuelled chorus around you the next. Disorientating it may be, exciting it most certainly is making for an album that is far from dull and which screams for your attention, it's time to sit up and take notice of this Bristol quartet.