Sitting comfortably in the box already occupied by bands like In This Moment and Lacuna Coil, California rockers Stitched Up Heart demonstrate moments where they have both the pop accessibility of a band like Evanescence and the shuddering brute heaviness of a band like Arch Enemy. It’s an interesting place to sit but, when your sharing space with groups of the calibre of Lacuna Coil and In This Moment, you have to produce something special to stand out.

Have they done that with Never Alone? Well, listening to it, I think it’s fair to say they’ve done enough to make sure they have your attention. Whether they’ve done enough to stand apart from the goth-tinged tones of Lacuna Coil or the industrial stomp pounded out by In This Moment is a different matter.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some solid moments on this album such as the thumping “Monster” and the raucous rocker “It’s So Easy”, both demonstrating the versatility of vocalist Alecia “Mixi” Demner and both tracks that demonstrate the assured performance the band have put in on their debut album for Another Century. The problem comes in that, while they are many solid tracks on Never Alone, and there is plenty of emotion and passion pouring out of both the music and Demner’s lyrics, there is too much of a familiar feeling to that majority of this release.

On the whole though, Never Alone is a solid album with plenty of big hitting tracks on it. The star of the show, however, is Demner who, whether it is on the haunting beauty of songs like “I can’t Breathe” or the pounding, anthemic melodies of “Catch Me When I Fall”, is certainly the focal point for this band. With Demner leading from the front, if they can continue to the build on the quality that is bubbling away on this debut, Stitched Up Heart will surely one day be rubbing shoulders with the big-hitters they share a sound with.

Never Alone Track Listing:

01. Finally Free
02. Monster
03. Catch Me When I Fall
04. Event Horizon
05. It’s So Easy
06. Never Alone
07. Now That You’re Gone
08. Turn You On
09. Bleeding Out
10. City Of Angels
11. I Can’t Breathe

Run Time: 42:40
Release Date: June 17, 2016

Check out the track “Finally Free”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.