ADKINS is a Tasmanian quartet consisting of Sam Adkins, Josh Wilcox, Michael Chadwick and Zeno Barwick. While formed in 2019, this collaboration was a long time in the making as they were all engrossed in the Tasmanian music scene. The band has now unleashed their impressive debut album The Wrong Side Of Fame for everyone to enjoy.
Through each track, the album looks at dealing with the dark side of self-important or selfish people. They also consider how self-importance manifests in the material work and the effect it has on other people. This is tackled using an array of different sounds from the band’s fusion of classic rock and metal with modern metal staples.
‘See Right Through’ gets the album started with a driving guitar and heavy beat that really sets the mood. There is some amazing guitar work that draws you into the song and leads up to the vocals. There is a great interplay between the pumping guitars and the smooth, but evocative vocals. This song really puts you in the right frame for the rest of the album.
‘Skyfall’ grabs you with a tenser opening that has a heavier and darker vibe to it. The vocal opening is wonderful and makes the deeper vocals shine even more. At times, this track is reminiscent of Disturbed, but there is this unique thread that sets it apart. Lyrically, this song is hard-hitting and you should take the time to absorb everything being said.
‘All You Take’ opens with some heavy guitars and pumps through your core. The use of the bass in the song really helps to drive the melody and gets you moving to the beat. This track has an angrier feeling to it and is completely unapologetic in its delivery. This is one of those songs that you can listen to again and again without ever getting tired of it.
‘Taste’ was the band’s debut single and is a wonderful introduction to their sound. There is a punishing melody that gets you wanting to move. You can hear the core identity of the band through each riff and lyric. There is a great lyrical and melodic structure to this song that work together to drive you through it.
‘Time Waster’ is the leading single from the album and is a bit different from the others. This is a classic love ballad about using the finite time we have on the people who matter the most. While this is technically a ballad, there are soaring guitars that link it to the metal features of the album. This song offers a great balance of metal melodies, a slower tempo and alluring vocals.
The next track is ‘Wish Upon A Scar’ and continues the balance of metal melodies and ballads. There is a deep beat and soaring guitar riffs mixed with slower vocals. The melodic movement of the track rises and falls to the lyrics. There is something epic about the chorus in this song that transports you far away.
‘Last To Know’ has a softer opening before throwing you into some punishing guitars. There is an aggression to this song that is clear in the lyrics, vocals and melody. The message of the album is really driven home with this track as it looks at how self-importance affects other people. What is interesting with this song is the moments where the vocals almost sound self-deprecating. It is an amazing interplay of emotions.
‘Pale White’ has this outstanding guitar opening that I could listen to again and again. The melody of the track is a little different from the rest of the album with a really cool rhythm. This melody combines perfectly with the soaring vocals that move from gentle to atmospheric. The beat of the song does not rock through you but is entirely too captivating.
‘Temporary’ brings back the gentle opening with light guitar notes. This track has a more sombre tone threading through the vocals and lyrics. This song leaves you with conflicting emotions as you feel somewhat sad while also feeling that everything is going to be okay. The chorus is very catchy and offers the uplifting message that leaves you feeling hopeful.
The last track is ‘Tenth’ and perfectly ends the album. There are crashing guitars, smooth melodies and enchanting vocals. There is something about this song that makes it easy to listen to. The uptick of the melody at times and injection of riffs also adds a little something special to the song and makes it a real sonic experience.
ADKINS showcases their core identity while keeping you hooked and thinking with The Wrong Side Of Fame. Each song is a pleasure to listen to with amazing melodies, rocking guitars and powerful vocal performances. As a debut album, it is beyond impressive and makes you want to hear more from them.