EP Review: Damn Renegades – Excelsior

Hard rock band Damn Renegades are a band from Philadelphia who create heavy music with a great deal of energy behind it, as displayed in their new release, Excelsior. Those into their heavy metal/hard rock will love this, so make sure you give the stream a listen at the end of this review!

By Jane Howkins

There are 5 punchy songs on Excelsior, with Blitzed being the first up, having an apt title. The music sounds huge from the very start, with a sense of vitality and vigour present that most younger bands can’t match! Huge riffs and solos are the name of the game here, although it’s to Damn Renegades’ credit that the chorus also seems to be rather melodic.

Silver Sinking Sand brings things down a little, although it’s still definitely a rock song. The riffs are massive, but the tempo is slightly slower, displaying more of a Southern rock sound. The vocal harmonies on the chorus are particularly impressive, with the title refrain being sung before the riffs kick back in again.

Skinwalkers reminded me a bit of the grunge movement that occurred within the early 90s, in terms of the rhythm, downtuned guitars and the vocal style. The vocals are quite low on the verses, raising up to some lofty heights on the chorus, marking a nice dynamic change to keep things interesting.

Red and Blue brings the tempo flying back up again immediately, sounding almost like a punk song at times. It’s quite fast, with killer riffs interspersed in between the verses, splitting it up in an interesting way. The song has quite an unusual order, with solos and breakdowns occurring during the middle of the song instead of towards the end.

Parasite keeps the faster tempo but has more of a melodic sense to it, despite the heaviness of the music. The vocal harmonies are at play on the chorus again, before a fantastic solo appears towards the end of the track, showing the band’s guitar skills off to the world.

Excelsior is a fantastic EP and it will be interesting to see where Damn Renegades go next time around, as they also seem to have a good range of styles within their music, despite the heavy sound!

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