There’s few things more powerful and enjoyable than the sound of hard-hitting female vocals over the top of booming hard rock guitars and drums, which succinctly sums up Edinburgh quartet Grace & Legend.
The fact that the band exists at all is perhaps a surprise, given that founding members Bekah Mhairi Comrie (vocals) and Ashely-Nicole Wall (guitar) didn’t get on when they first met at Edinburgh’s Academy of Music & Sound back in 2014. But one day Ashely was sitting on a train racking her brain thinking of a vocalist to help her get a band going, texted Bekah and not only was Grace & Legend born, they’re now best friends too!
They soon found bassist Jamie Harris, who had just moved to Edinburgh for work, through an advert on a Facebook group for local musicians, while drummer Tom Parker had long been a fan and been to several gigs before he was asked to replace his predecessor last October.
As Jamie explains: “The line-up is perfect now – we all bring a lot to the table when we’re writing, we’re all committed, and most importantly, we can always have a right laugh together. At bedrock all of us have always wanted to be involved in music, we’ve all played in various bands and projects before Grace & Legend – it’s just something the four of us naturally want to do.
“We started this band firstly because we have a love for performing and rock music, but also because we felt that together we could achieve something great. We really feel that we’ve got something different and intriguing to offer – a sound that bridges across genres that everyone can enjoy. That’s the mission!”
The quartet has fused a high-energy brand of hard rock that fuses Bekah’s huge vocal melodies with relentless driving drums and explosive guitar riffs – a sound that’s been mastered in this year’s EP Path To Solace.
It begins slowly with the laid-back intro to Façade, with Bekah’s low vocals gradually building into an impressive series of high-pitched vocals then explodes into life with a big guitar riff. More intense, fast-paced rocky vocals follow over the top of the riff and the verse ends on a series of drawn-out vocals then dives into a more singalong chorus. Another heavier hit of guitar follows supported by pounding drums, then leads into huge smash of almost screamed vocals with an awesome guitar riff in the background. A second chorus is followed by rolling guitar riff that gives way to a booming low-tuned riff then flying high-pitched guitars over the top and more big vocals lead into another singalong section that leads into a final chorus. It’s one hell of an impressive introduction.
It’s followed by a big drum roll on the way into Dark Disguise, then a big low-tuned riff. More vocal-led verse follows, which flows into a big singalong chorus dominated by Bekah’s huge vocals, which are again the focus through a second verse that ends with a simply ridiculously good powerful high note, and flows into another chorus. There’s a really cool chilled bridge that gradually builds with the aid of more massive vocals before a final chorus and a big solo by Ashely. This song is absolutely huge, check it out in the video below:
A funky guitar riff leads us into We Are Warriors, then drops down into a low-tuned fast-paced riff. A little bass filler leads into another barrage of powerful vocals and guitars, then a light guitar lick under more relaxed vocals lead into another hard-hitting battle cry of a chorus. Low-tuned rolling guitars support building cry of “Let’s show them, let’s show them, we’ll prove them wrong” then lone guitars are soon joined by pounding drums ahead of a final chorus that ends on a massive powerful almost scream.
Refuse To Fall opens up with Bekah’s powerful cry of “I wish I wish I could refuse to, Fall down again, Fall down again” supported by just echoey bass drum, then gives way to a winding guitar riff. A rare relaxed verse follows then bursts into life with the intro vocals returning in the chorus and leading into the additional lyrics “How many times must I destroy my life?”, then higher vocals through the second verse. The second chorus is followed by a huge guitar solo, a brief relaxed verse then going out on more huge vocals and cool ascending guitar chords.
Penultimate track Cigarettes begins with a cool riff followed by a massive rock-out that leads into an edgy, hard-hitting opening verse that ends with the lyric “I’ve got a new life baby, and you don’t belong here.” Again there’s massively powerful vocals throughout, perfectly complemented by some chugging guitar riffs.
The EP ends with Dear Old Friend, which opens with big guitar chords and drums, then clean guitars supporting delicate vocals that build in intensity then fluctuate deliciously between light and heavy. A huge high blast of vocals from Bekah leads into a meandering solo and driving drums to see the EP out on a particularly strong note.
On the EP, Jamie explains: “The new EP really goes from one end of the spectrum to the other. Some of the songs, like Dark Disguise, explore the struggle of being trapped in a dark place in your life; trying to capture the feeling of desolation that can take over when it seems like nothing is going right. But we also write about facing up to those hard times, in songs like Cigarettes and We Are Warriors. In those tracks it’s about meeting the challenges of life head on and overcoming them to become a stronger person.”
The band has just finished up a first Scottish mini-tour, and has one more gig lined up at The Banshee Labyrinth in Edinburgh on 25 November (tickets here). 2018 will see them shooting a new music video, getting new material recorded and released, and then hopefully doing a bigger tour across the UK.