American metallers Stitched Up Heart are already a fixture on their domestic scene, with a couple of album releases and stacks of touring with the likes of Godsmack and Halestorm, but they’ve yet to make so much as a ripple here at Sentinel Daily. Their latest effort, To The Wolves, is looming on the horizon with a release date set for the start of September and I must admit to having been more than a little intrigued by the three singles the band has released thus far in the album’s campaign. So when the big man in Canberra offered me a chance to review said album, I was more than happy to oblige.

Based around the super-impressive vocal presence of Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner, SUH offer a very modern take on the metal template, throwing in a lot of jackhammer, industrialised percussion and enough danceable belches and bleeps to keep young ears content and appreciative. But tracks like Taste For Blood and the album’s incredibly appealing standout, Part Of Me, show that this is a band for whom substance is very much just as important as style.

So whilst producer Mitchell Marlow takes care of the style, Demner, guitarist Merritt Goodwin, bassist Randy Mathias and drummer James Decker hold down the substance end of the bargain with no little authority. Goodwin has a great tone, and lays down barrage after barrage of six string salvos that rarely fall wide of the mark in terms of keeping the pressure up on the listener’s ears. At times he reminds this reviewer of Billy Idol‘s faithful old retainer Steve Stevens in his approach, which has to be a good thing. Mathias and Decker keep the pedal to the metal in the rhythm section with gratifying intensity throughout.

And then there’s Decker, a vocal chameleon with a style for every mood, and, as luck would have it, the ability to back up the schizoid chopping and changing of styles. She handles everything with ease here, from the gutteral lows to the perfectly-pitched highs, in the process giving the album the edge of class it needs to take it from ‘not bad at all’ to ‘actually bloody good’.  For Sentinel Daily readers, this is well worth a listen if you fancy a change of pace.

To The Wolves Releases on September 1st.