Banshee – Say My Name (EP)
Previously known as Life on Standby, Banshee are an Alternative Electronic Rock quartet from Greenock, Scotland. Their line-up is: Gavin Williams on guitar & synths, Liam Walker on bass, Gianluca Demelas on drums and Erin Donnachie is their vocalist. This is their debut release under their new name.
After listening to the EP quite a few times, Intro (Nightmare) seemed familiar although on checking (repeatedly) it isn't a coda, as such, of another song on this release. It does neatly encapsulate the qualities of Banshee: tunefulness, atmosphere, Modern Heavy Rock laden with synths. From this first tune you get so much life and belief from the group in what they're doing. Into the first full song: Say My Name is a song that puts in mind the big stage. From a straight forward Pop Rock start into the chorus things build up at such a pace and yet you don't need to focus on what you're hearing. This is just a short and punchy tune where the space is filled to overflowing and which has no extraneous parts to calm things down, a song with the required energy it takes you along with it. Secret slows the pace but adds more dirt. Banshee show a different side to their sound with this one but again the tune shines through with an undeniable presence. And then One Step Behind comes across as more restrained with an easier pace but still it has a BIG CHORUS. It sparkles with basic honesty. The closing piece on this release is Eagles which has a strong electronic/pop start before it launches into a digitally dirt-caked Rock anthem. What you hear as you make your way through this cracking EP is a group that have removed all unwanted elements and just have the bare essentials of each song which are built into wonderful expressions of music – all the bounce, catchy melodies and passion. This is as Banshee describe it: Alternative Electronic Rock.
Erin Donnachie lets loose at every possible moment, her vocals just add the necessary punch and spice to the rocking backing (because without the rest of the group Banshee wouldn't exist). This EP has a supercharged Pop/Rock attitude, 80s chart Rock completely overhauled into something that can only be viewed as current. Where the influences lie is irrelevant as they seem to have eclipsed their own heroes. OK with all of this, where is the comparison with their Life on Standby incarnation? Well, tough! This is Banshee not another project pre-dating it. The fact that this is a group who don't go for being flamboyant in any way becomes apparent and Banshee are four musicians who are just using their talent to perform strikingly simple songs powered only by that talent and there more than enough impact in each of the five numbers on this release. The smooth professionalism is from their understanding of what they want to achieve rather than conform to an accepted way of presentation.