When I first heard the new self-titled EP by California based Rival Sons, I was immediately reminded of the Jeff Beck Group and their heavy blues rock sound. But let’s see what is so special about these new songs.
The opener ‘Get What’s Coming’ almost says it all already as all songs are quite similar. ‘Torture’, ‘Radio’, ‘Sleepwalker’ and ‘Soul’ follow similar lines, vintage guitar sound, pounding drums and a powerful bass making way for Jay Buchanan’s rather loud vocals. However, not everything is just simple power play as the band knows how to use dynamics in the proper way, heading into a slightly psychedelic direction then. One exception is the quiet ‘Sacred Tongue’, a folk ballad which sounds very much like a Fleet Foxes song.
The production of the EP is quite good as the mix is not too loud and gives all instruments and the vocals the space is needed to develop. The songwriting shows the band are playing it safe but a few more experiments would do them good as they often sound like – as I’ve said before – the Jeff Beck Group.
Nevertheless the “Rival Sons EP” is a nice appetizer for their upcoming album. Hopefully it will keep up the good quality of their powerful blues rock sound.