If you know your onions and think of Earache Records, the bands that spring to mind are more like to be on the heavier end of the scale, you know… Deicide, Napalm Death, Carcass , that sort of thing. The last thing you would expect is a slab of blues drenched retro rock, delivered in the form of ‘Pressure And Time’, the latest offering from Rival Sons. The band have already received the Classic Rock Magazine seal of approval with these LA rockers being lauded as ‘America’s best new band’. A very bold statement, and one that is no doubt going to help them sell a few records and indeed build the hype. It’s our job though to cut through the crap, ignore the hype and really see what Rival Sons are all about, and honestly after having lived with this album for a few weeks, Classic Rock aren’t a million miles off the mark.
The album artwork has to be mentioned as a starter, it’s freaky and thought provoking. Rival Sons are proud to have enlisted the help of the legendary Storm Thorgerson whose iconic artwork has featured on many a classic sleeve from Led Zepplin to Muse. But it’s the gem of an album that sits under the artwork that we are really bothered about, it’s a groove laden coctail of Zepplin colliding with The Black Crowes, Aerosmith and Small Faces. Launching into ‘All Over The Road’ the tone is set. It’s stripped back, cocky and addictive. Frontman Jay Buchannan oozes that retro vibe, with a swagger that Robert Plant himself would be proud of. The fretwork of Scott Holiday gets a showcase early on, showing he himself is no slouch when it comes to six strings. By the end of second track ‘Young Love’ you are well and truly hooked, a swing driven raw blues cruncher held together by the strolling bass lines and solid back beats of Robin Everhart and Miley respectively.
The influences are very clear, the comparisons are easy to make, so much so that it almost makes Rival Sons sound like a tribute act, but this album proves they are far more than that. There is a very raw power and passion that seeps through the album ‘Only One’ is dripping with soul, whereas lead single and title track ‘Pressure and Time’ slices through with the edgy blues riffery and funky vocal lines.
One thing Rival Sons can’t be accused of is over production, this album is exceptionally raw. Allegedly written and recorded in 20 days to “maintain that raw vibe” according to the Sons themselves it does just that. It’s a real plug and play stripped back approach, you can almost smell the incense and hippy vibe.
Rival Sons have thrown out half an hour of no nonsense vintage foot stomping tunes, if you like the modern retro sound of the likes of The Answer you are going to love this. America’s best new band? Possibly… but in the same way you could say The Answer is the best new band in Britain.
These boys are definitely ones to watch out for and you can catch them at the following dates ine July, including Sonisphere and T In The Park:
July 09 – Knebworth, Sonisphere Festival
July 10 – Balado, T in the Park
July 12 – Leeds Cockpit 3
July 13 – London Borderline
July 23 – London, High Voltage Festival
They are also supporting Judas Priest with Queensryche on the following:
July 15 – Newport, – Newport Centre
July 16 – Manchester, – O2 Apollo
July 17 – Doncaster, – The Dome
July 19 – Glasgow, – SECC
July 20 – Newcastle, – Metro Arena
July 21 – Wolverhampton, – Civic Hall
July 23 – London, – High Voltage Festival
July 24 – Bournemouth, – BIC