Illustr8ors – Illustr8ors EP (Self-Released)

Genre: Hard Rock/Alt Rock

Picture this: future classic rock stars ditch the retro and reach for the stars as remodelled, renamed and reinvigorated hard rock heroes. Risky or what? But if their debut EP is a taste of what’s to come then the über-cool Illustr8ors can approach an uncertain future with confidence.

As BlackWolf, the band were classy purveyors of blues-infused brilliance echoing the riff-fuelled arena behemoths of the 70s. One album in and they sounded every bit as good as Buffalo Summer, Inglorious et al as standard bearers for a new wave of British classic rock. Turns out they were wolves in sheep’s clothing.

As singer Scott Sharp revealed to RUSHONROCK at the Ramblin’ Man Fair earlier this year, the band swiftly outgrew their original incarnation. There was a passion to push the boundaries, test themselves as songwriters and reinvent the rock wheel. Illustr8ors’ debut EP is a feisty response to a period of growing unrest within the BlackWolf ranks.

Opener Your Animal is, by some margin, the most exciting rock song you’ll hear this year. It’s infectious, invigorating and instantly catchy. It doesn’t sound a bit like BlackWolf but as a meticulously crafted example of musicianship it does bear all the hallmarks of that creatively intense and crazily talented quintet.

Curious and furious, Illustr8ors are a intriguing hybrid of Heaven’s Basement (another band synonymous with various stylistic twists and turns), Sixx AM and Franz Ferdinand (in the early days). They scream energy. They scream songs. Most of all, they scream potential.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Picture Perfect