SCORPION CHILD - Life Sentence
June 10, 2016, 2 years ago
Texas classic rockers, Scorpion Child (who took its name from The Cult’s “Lil’ Devil”), is a true hybrid of genres. Blessed with a diverse sound that crosses streams within the rock ’n’ roll dome, the band’s sound harkens back to classic ’70s rock and ’70s/’80s punk, combined with NWOBHM and old-school southern blues rock.
The Austin quintet consists of Aryn Jonathan Black (vocals), Christopher Jay Cowart (lead guitar) Jon “Charn” Rice (drums), Alec Caballero Padron (bass) and Aaron John “A.J.” Vincent (keyboards). Scorpion Child is one of the most promising of the newer bands (formed in 2006) playing this classic hard rock style.
On its sophomore release, Acid Roulette, the band has created an adventurous concept album with a narrative that chronicles the life trials of a traveling writer — the protagonist of the story — who is imprisoned for murder by being forced into confessing by his wife and her wealthy lover so that they could live out their romance without him in the picture.
Opener “She Sings I Kill” introduces the storyline and sets up the basis of the tracks to follow that tell the story of the album as a whole. ““She Sings I Kill” is the prologue to what the whole album is going to be about,” Black said. “It’s an introduction to the story and it explains how it happens. “Acid Roulette” is like the turning point, it’s almost like the guts of the story.”
Sentenced to a life’s term, the main character experiences many different psychological changes throughout the years he is imprisoned. Acid Roulette is actually a game he created, which involves hallucinogens, to pass the time away in prison.
“Acid Roulette is his escape,” Black said of the protagonist. “When he’s in prison, he goes back to doing things he used to do in the desert. Where he’d cut up a sheet of acid and then a sheet of regular paper, throw it into a jar and shake it up and you picked five hits, and you never knew which were loaded. It was an escape from thinking about his wife and his kids that he’ll never see again, which ties into the story.”
Each of the 13 tracks have such a strong dynamic, it makes the album ebb and flow wonderfully. As a concept album, it never becomes a chore to listen to and the track sequence happened naturally, Black said of the writing process. “It was like a dream sequence that kept reoccurring,” he said. “I would just write it down and it started to make sense and magically it just all came together. It was like playing with a ouija board and it just kind of pointed me in the right direction and made sense of the story. When the new members joined, that’s when we started truthfully writing. I guess that process happened pretty quickly. It wasn’t layered for years and years and overthought.”
For the production of Acid Roulette, Scorpion Child teamed up with Grammy Award-nominated producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith (Meat Puppets, The Toadies, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead) and recorded it mostly live in the studio. “Honestly, I think that all of us knew what it was going to be like, but not how good it would sound necessarily,” Black stated. “We kind of had an idea of what we wanted and we were all in a room together fleshing it out. It was really good to have that dynamic.”
With Acid Roulette in the books (released June 10 via Nuclear Blast), the band is gearing up for the European festival season, while a U.S. tour will shortly follow. Completing two albums in six years, Scorpion Child possesses the potential to take it to the next level, if Acid Roulette is any indication. “I really hope people dig this one,” Black concludes. “That would be very Important to me, because we all dumped our heart and souls into the making and writing of it. We hope to always continue to make great music, and hopefully it expires others like music inspired us.”