Rival Sons—Rival Sons promo (2011)

Rival Sons—Rival Sons (2011)

Rival Sons—Rival Sons (2011)

Details

Produced by Dave Cobb. Recorded and mixed by Pete Lyman at 1974.

Band

  • Jay Buchanan—Vocals
  • Scott Holiday—Guitars
  • Robin Everhart—Bass
  • Michael Miley—Drums

Tracks

  1. Get what’s coming
  2. Torture
  3. Radio
  4. Sacred Tongue
  5. Sleepwalker
  6. Soul

Review

I’ve been listening to Rival Sons for the last few years on Planet Rock radio forgetting that I had this promo CD sitting on my shelf. What a discovery!

Rival Sons are a blues rock band from Long Beach, California, USA. They have a bit of the same kind of vibe as Clutch, with some Black Crowes thrown in for good measure.

“Get what’s coming” (track 1) opens with a very Led Zeppelin-style gallop before settling into a Clutch-style groove that scans very satisfyingly: “Coulda been a docta but at least you’re not a preacha!” About halfway through the song slows to a ponderous jam (think Spinal Tap “Jazz odyssey”) before returning to its righteous stomp.

“Torture” (track 2)  is another upbeat number, with a very melodic, hummed chorus. I was trying to remember who they reminded me of, before I realised that it was a band that I’d heard on Planet Rock… yeah, you guessed it: Rival Sons. Moving swiftly on.

“Radio” (track 3) opens with a little drum solo and is built primarily around a bluesy little riff that again reminds me heavily of Clutch. It’s a great rock n’ roll song.

“Sacred tongue” (track 4) takes us in a completely different direction. It is delicate, vulnerable and acoustic. It reminds me very much of the vibe on Led Zeppelin III fused with Richard Thompson. It is by far my favourite track on the album.

“Sleepwalker” (track 5) takes up back to some powerful riffs that pulse and spark their way through the verses and are joined by a screaming harmonica for the choruses.

The final track on this promo EP is “Soul” (track 6). It is the most overtly blues track on the disc. So much so that I initially assumed that it must be a cover; it’s not. It has a very soulful, bluesy feel that reminds me of so much music that came out of the 1950s. Good stuff!

Conclusion

I didn’t expect to be as impressed as I have been by this promo. While I’d heard bits and pieces of Rival Sons on the radio it wasn’t until I’d heard more of it, in context, back-to-back before I really began to appreciate it. I may have to check them out more and I definitely want to learn to play “Sacred tongue” on my guitar.

Review score: 95%

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The Quireboys—This is Rock ‘n’ Roll (2001)

The Quireboys—This is Rock 'n' Roll (2001)

The Quireboys—This is Rock ‘n’ Roll (2001)

Details

Produced by The Quireboys and C J Eiriksson for Quireboys Productions. Engineered and mixed by C J Eiriksson. Recorded at EMG Studio, North Hollywood, California. Mixed at EMG Studio and 4th Street Recordings, Santa Monica, California. Mastered by Stephen Marcusson at Marcusson Mastering, Los Angeles, California.

Band

  • Spike (aka Jonathan Gray)—Vocals
  • Guy Griffin—Guitar
  • Luke Bonssendorfer—Guitar
  • Nigel Moog—Bass
  • Martin Henderson—Drums and percussion

Tracks

  1. This is rock ‘n’ roll
  2. Show me what you got
  3. Searching
  4. Six degrees
  5. C’mon
  6. Seven days
  7. Taken for a ride
  8. Coldharbour lane
  9. Turn away
  10. To be
  11. Enough for one lifetime
  12. It’s alright
  13. Never let me go

Review

The Quireboys were never a band that I listened to when I was younger. Their debut album A Bit of What You Fancy (1990) was released during my first year at university when I was heavily into thrash and getting into many of the early bands that laid the grounds for a lot of the music I listen to now: Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, etc.

Judging by this, The Quireboys’ fourth studio album, they sound to me very much to be the UK’s equivalent of America’s The Black Crowes but sung by Rod Stewart. And to be honest, that kind of rocky, gravelly voice, while it sells well, isn’t really something that I personally enjoy.

The songs are well written, the musicianship seems solid… I’m just not a fan. I wasn’t then, and I’m not now having given them a good go. I find Rod Stewart’s voice particularly annoying and I’m sorry to say that I can’t hear much beyond Spike’s voice on this release.

Conclusion

I know there are people who love this style of music, who love Spike’s voice. I love The Black Crowes, so the blues rock style is definitely on my radar. But this just isn’t for me, sorry. I did try. Again.

Review score: 50%