Forgotten how to rock? Take two of these and see me in the morning.
Southern California is a rich and affluent corner of the world when it comes to music. Whether that be from the hazy, psychedelic days of The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash or The Eagles to harder acts like Guns N Roses by way of The Beach Boys, this sun kissed haven of beach bodies, glitzy showbiz phonies and Pacific ocean breezes offers up another fresh bunch of vocalised young men. Ladies and Gentlemen, you are introduced to Rival Sons.
Having spent the past three years paying their dues in the clubs and bars of SoCal, a relatively tradition route into the business that is often overlooked and bypassed in the modern, digital era. This retro, non kitch, throwback is in perfect keeping with the style, harmony and even subject matter of the Rival Sons, a hard rocking, hard working American band with a wonderful sound and penchant for their audience.
Fronted by impassioned Jay Buchanan who’s smooth whiskey vocals sound like their fuelled by passion and velvet smoke, this four piece band are a refreshing breath of fresh Marlborough air in the modern, hard rock era. Their self titled debut EP displays amply what this group can go on to achieve if given the opportunity.
Starting with the high tempo, in your face, full frontal nudity tracks, “Get What’s Coming” and “Torture” lead guitarist Scott Holiday smashes his way into the listener’s head whether they like it or not. With hard hitting, pulsing riffs and hooks, the distortion of his amp and ability to turn a grinding, down and dirty strum into the delicate, almost ghostly solo on “Get What’s Coming” dance eloquently with Buchanan’s vocals.
With a Bonham esque drum intro from skin slammer Michael Miley kicks of the third track “Radio” as Holiday’s fret flicking finger dancing crashes through the walls and into the fore. A percussion heavy track, bassist Robin Everhart provides a temporal spine in which the all out action, wild vocals and at points experimental sound of the track fly recklessly around his solid, steady performance.
In quiet contrast, “Sacred Tongue” is an acoustic, southern charmed song that oozes the passion and ability that Rival Sons possess. This, coupled with the crescendo bursting, ear drum thrashing final tracks “Sleepwalker” and “Soul” stand as a considerable, comprisable and compelling introduction to this classic rock inspired four piece.
There is wonderfully energetic and inspiring comparisons to classic and hard rock giants of a by gone era to be found in the music of Rival Sons. Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and even the cockney charm of Thunder can be heard in their music. As the media proclaims that Rock is dead and pop is the new Queen(?) it is warming and compelling to know that there are still artists out there unashamed to grab a beer, hook up a stack and let her rip. Rival Sons will be touring with Judas Priest on their UK tour throughout July.
Tour dates, info and album availability are available at the band’s official website: www.rivalsons.com