Bradford’s Scars On 45 have yet to make a big splash on the UK side of the pond, but they have already found some success and radio play in America. Signed to Atlantic Chop Shop Records, which specializes in promoting new music via television placement, the band have had songs featured on CSI: New York and Grey’s Anatomy. They spent most of 2011 and 2012 on tour, both as headliner and as support for other acts, including The Fray and Joshua Radin but have been relatively quiet in 2013, presumably setting to work on their second studio album.
The band’s debut album, ‘Scars On 45’ was released way back in April 2012, preceded by two EPs, ‘Give Me Something’ (January 2011) and ‘Heart On Fire’ (October 2011). Both EPs shared titles with their corresponding singles; of those, ‘Give Me Something’ received significant radio play in America.
The vocal contrast between lead singer/songwriter Danny Bemrose and backing vocalist Aimee Driver is certainly the outstanding element to Scars On 45’s sound. Bemrose’s plaintive singing voice is pleasant, if not particularly distinctive on its own, while Driver’s breathy, lighter-than-air soprano creates a male/female dichotomy that adds both harmonic interest and emotional tension. Driver is featured as lead vocalist on ‘Promises and Empty Words’, one of the bands’ strongest offerings appearing both on the ‘Hearts on Fire’ EP and the ‘Scars On 45’ album. The songs’ catchy choruses and cloyingly emotional lyrics might be somewhat cliché, but set to insistent rhythmic figures and clean, clear melodies in the keyboard and guitar parts, they are hard not to like in the end.
As a teaser for their upcoming album, the band have posted acoustic YouTube videos of some new tracks on their Web site, including ‘This Is Not Your Love Song’. The band have only one scheduled gig in the UK next year, at Leeds Cockpit on the 17th of January 2014, before they head off to Miami for the launch of Rock Boat XIV at the end of February. They are scheduled to appear at SXSW 2014 in March.