The Warning - 'XXI Century Blood'

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The Warning - 'XXI Century Blood'

Simply astonishing.

Simply astonishing! 'XXI Century Blood' is a surprisingly accomplished debut album from three young sisters from Monterrey, Mexico. Daniela (guitar, lead vocals), Paulina (drums, piano, vocals) and Alejandra (bass, backing vocals) Villarreal are seventeen, fifteen and twelve respectively and were a year younger when they recorded the album.

Those of you who might already be thinking "Hanson" or "Avril Lavigne" need to get those thoughts out of your head right now because what we have here, despite their meagre years, is a young band apparently steeped in Rock tradition with a bona fide love of, and passion for, heavy Melodic Rock. Lest you doubt their Rock credentials, check out their Kirk Hammett-approved cover of 'Enter Sandman', or, if you're in the area, their appearance at October's Mother of All Rock Festival (a home town gig for the girls), at which they'll be sharing a stage with the likes of Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, Tesla and Vince Neil.

Now down to the important business and an engaging album that grabs you from the off and sustains interest. Starting as they mean to go on, both the title track and 'Shattered Heart' demonstrate a good ear for a riff and a highly-developed sense of melody and drama (the title track, incidentally, won an award for its music video and is well worth checking out). While the melodies are strong throughout, there is more depth than you'd expect from a band so young – listen, for example, to the way they jam out the ultra-catchy 'Survive' (possibly the standout track here) or the extraordinary strength of the lead vocal performance on 'Exterminated'. Elsewhere the Rocked-up 'Wild Fire', with its near sixties Joan Baez-like Folk vibe, and the more balladic 'Black Holes (Don't Hold On)' show serious Stadium Rock potential. I kid you not! In fact, over the album's thirteen original, self-penned tracks, the Villarreal's hardly put a foot wrong. It's inspiring and heart-warming stuff.

There is enormous potential here – with their age, gender and nationality making The Warning a unique proposition. Perhaps the greatest challenge they face is building and keeping an audience that extends beyond their immediate peers. However, given the talent, enthusiasm and songs on show, there's no reason why, with careful handling, they can't do it. Like I said to open, simply astonishing!

Michael Anthony

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