- Aryn Jonathan Black – vocals
- Christopher Jay Cowart – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Jon “The Charn” Rice – drums
- Alec Caballero Padron – bass, backing vocals
- Aaron John “AJ” Vincent – organs, keyboards
- She Sings, I Kill
- Reaper’s Danse
- My Woman in Black
- Acid Roulette
- Winter Side of Deranged
- Twilight Coven
- Blind Man’s Shine
- Moon Tension
- Tower Grove
- I Might Be Your Man
They say that a second album can be one of the most difficult. It makes sense. You don’t want to alienate those who fell in love with your debut, but you may want to build on the sound that made you popular. Scorpion Child’s second record, Acid Roulette, sounds like a slightly more musically accomplished version of their rocking debut, but it can miss the raw heavy blues sound of their debut.
Sure, there are plenty of groovy tracks that follow a very similar pattern to those found in the original album. Songs such as “Winter Side of Deranged”, “My Woman in Black” and “Tower Grove” are just three that stand out as classic sounding heavy blues rock and could very well represent the best of the record. The addition of an organ livened up the band’s sound and adds new depth to their music. Outside of the organ, there isn’t too much different in Acid Roulette than their eponymous debut. It is a little trippier, as the name would suggest. There are elements of space rock here that you didn’t find before. Title track “Acid Roulette” sums this up the best.
“Acid Roulette” opens with a Pink Floyd-esque space rock riff and eventually leads into an out-of-this-world organ solo. Scorpion Child typically write the kind of heavy blues that wouldn’t look out-of-place on a Led Zeppelin record, but this track is like a hard-rock Pink Floyd song. It’s a great title-track in a slightly underwhelming record. It’s not much worse than the band’s debut, but Acid Roulette just isn’t quite as fun. Some of the new song writing is a little suspect, too.
Take “Survives” for example. This power ballad just doesn’t really fit with the high energy present on the rest of the album. It sounds more like “Oil Spill” from Bob’s Burgers than a hard blues-rock track. “Séance” doesn’t add anything noteworthy and acts as unnecessary filler in this thirteen-track record. “Moon Tension” isn’t that great, either. Fans of classic cheese rock might enjoy it, but I find it too much – “Addictions” follows a similar path, but slower.
Outside of these four tracks however, you do have nine perfectly good songs, with a few great ones thrown in there. “She Sings, I Kill”, “Reaper’s Danse” and “I Might Be Your Man” can be added to those previously mentioned as stand-outs on Acid Roulette. There’s just nothing on here that’s as good as “King’s Highway” or “Polygon of Eyes” from their debut album. I’d still recommend Acid Roulette, but if you haven’t picked up either of the band’s albums, I’d go for their eponymous debut to begin with.
Acid Roulette is a decent record, but it’s not as good as Scorpion Child’s first.