Cylew is a Paris based melodic rock band infused with 90s California rock sound. Not surprising as the lead singer and songwriter, Lady Cylew, grew up in Los Angeles and was vividly inspired by the culture and music there. Their new album ‘MOT3L’ is a collaboration between Lady Cylew (French-American singer-songwriter), and Parisian producer Arnaud Bascuñana (who has worked with major French bands such as: Les Wampas, Deportivo, No One is Innocent, etc.) and drummer Kriss Kilong (ex Madjik). Their new album is the third one after ‘Not So Sleeping, Not So Beauty’ released in 2008, and ‘Black Lace Prophecy’ released late 2012, and recorded live at Studio 180 in Paris.
What makes Cylew so good is their ability to seamlessly move from pounding rock riffing into sing-along choruses. Lady Cylew’ singing voice moves from a roar to being almost angelic at times. She sings with passion, with fire, and desire. She has the vocal capabilities of her more famous rock peers, and her vocal melodies flow extremely well over the pulsating rhythms beneath her.
The guitar work in the opening track, ‘Western Sky’ is a mix of bone-crushing brutality and blistering beauty, with fast harmonized passages that allows for Lady Cylew to sing high and mighty over it all. “Like a Flare” is catchy as hell with an infectious groove and jangling guitar tones leaning on a sustained straight tempo. “Take It All’ brings back the angular riffs and a syncopated rhythm before the singalong choruses set in.
If it doesn’t hook you immediately, then give it a couple of listens to let it sink in. The acoustic strains on the mid-tempo Outer Spaces, is a beautiful demonstration of the expansiveness of a band that refuses to remain complacent or create an album on which every song sounds exactly the same.
The lusciously layered guitars and lead solo on ‘Like You’ shares the kudos with the vocals, on a song that keeps building momentum and expanding outward. Lady Cylew demonstrates that she has probably one of the better singing voices in rock, on the slower ‘Sun’.
She has a great amount of versatility and power to her vocals, that aren’t lost in any of the arrangements. The sound runs back and forth between melodic and hand crunch on ‘Jupiter’s Crash’. This is where the drumming shines, keeping everything tightly-knitted together. The lead guitar is killer here too. Lady Cylew’s artistry and creativity shines through brilliantly on the wistful ballad, ‘Immaculate’.
With too many alternative and rock bands sounding sterile and calculated, it makes the rawness, emotion and originality of tracks like ‘Save Me’ and ‘Be Mine’ stand out even more. The guitars are spirited, the bass is thumping and the drumming is impeccable on the ever-changing atmosphere of ‘Wishing’.
From everything to anything, Cylew know just how to surprise fans, as they get back to the grindstone on the soaring rock jam of ‘Stalking My Prey’, one of the best track on the album. The album closer, ‘Dead or Alive’, offers another striking piece that could easily challenge as a fan-favorite. There’s no doubt that Lady Cylew’s vision for her art makes for a blood pumping, emotional and thought-provoking collection of songs.
Proving rock is far from dead, with their excellent musical mastery and insane skill to make anything sound phenomenal, Cylew is more impressive with each passing album. ‘MOT3L’ is a fierce and entertaining record that will translate well to the live stage.