Fireworks

Ajenda - 'Unrecognizable' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 23, 2013    
 
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There's a lot to like about the easily accessible, groovy and fun sound from Ajenda.

Most of my day job colleagues already think I'm pretty far off the reservation. So it was understandable that they were a little unnerved recently when I was sat there with this big grin. I'm told the bosses were rather cautious of everything they touched all day... As if. What they didn't know was that my smile was down to 'Unrecognizable', the debut from Irish rockers Ajenda, and not the onset of hysteria or a murderous psychosis.

The sleazy 'Dirty Rock N Roll' got its hooks in me from the off with its grinding riff and husky vocals from Jen. Straight afterwards comes 'Tattoo' with another catchy choral line that may have you reaching for repeat, but resist, there's so much more to hear. 'Hatred And Greed' is another progression fuelled cracker that lyrically discusses modern day politics and war with harsh conclusions. These three show the band's harder side with the rest more likened to Commercial/Pop Rock; in fact 'Paranoia' borders on Country with its breezy electric/acoustic dual melody. If all this wasn't enough...the best is yet to come. The first time I listened to 'Otherside' I almost had tears in my eyes. It's actually a positive song written about someone who's passed away and sending a message to their lover. I can't think of a more fitting image for me to send than "Just behind the silver lining is where you'll find me, playing poker with the angels". 'Fragile' is just as tear inducing with its acoustic guitar and emotional lyrics about a relationship that's ended. The polar opposite of these two is 'Hollow'; I virtually Angus Young duck-walked down the office aisle with the keyboard as a guitar when I first heard this. You know the Hugh Grant 'Love Actually' dancing scene... That was almost me. All I'll say is this seriously infectious riff and chorus should come with a health warning.

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There's a lot to like about the easily accessible, groovy and fun sound from Ajenda that's a mix of Vixen, Pink and Halestorm. It's not quite the best album of 2013, but if I compile a list of those I'd listened to the most times this year I'm willing to bet this is near the top! I've seen a critique saying their sound is too rocky to be commercial and too poppy to be Hard Rock and whilst that may be true I look at it in reverse; by being both they're a little bit different. Jen has a top drawer Rock voice and although she doesn't stray much in terms of range, she really varies her emotion. The other guys provide her with a quality platform and I recon there is something for every reader on this marvellous debut.

To quote another great Irish export Father Jack Hackett "I'm an 'appy camper" and to anyone who listens to this while at work... I'll see you in the next padded cell.

Dave Scott

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