Will Brexit mean there’s no freedom of movement of rock within the Europe? Bulgarian rock is a new one on me, but while there’s the faintest whiff of the European mainland about the vocals, you’d be hard pushed to identify the homeland of this female fronted rock band by sound alone.
Formed in January 2010 by singer and songwriter Svetlana (Sevi) Bliznakova and Rally Velinov (songwriter, bass), ten other players have passed through the band’s ranks before the line-up featured on The Battle Never Ends – their sophomore release.
Their 2012 debut What Lies Beyond won radio play, and plaudits, as far from the band’s ‘hometown’ of Sofia as Peru, Chicago and the UK, and the band peddle a familiar formula of strident female fronted rock (underscored in promo videos by plenty of pouting, cleavage and suggestive posturing).
That particular genre hasn’t moved forward a great deal in 25 years although production advances have ramped up the overall sound. Sevi certainly fits the bill vocally and visually, individually and collectively, so really it’s down to the material which, in the case of their debut album was a mixture of hard rock and softer Chrissie Hynde-style.
The Battle Never Ends is another Jekyll and Hyde release – the band apparently undecided whether to go for the hard rock or commercial market.
It’s perhaps telling that the majority of numbers picked for singles so far have come from the former camp, whereas for me, it’s the American rock radio friendly numbers like the slightly funky ‘Bitter Taste’ and ‘Crazy’, ‘Supernatural’ (which has more than a hint of Anastacia), the rather catchy ‘Destiny’, and the peachy ‘Not A Crime’ on which Sevi really stands out from the crowd.
A word also for the band and the production – for a self-produced album, it’s exemplary. If you like bands like The Pretty Reckless, then Sevi are well worth a listen. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
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