Do you yearn for the 1960s and 70s, when the hair was long, the drugs and sex were free and rockers ruled the roost? Horrid clichés aside, well yearn no longer as I introduce to you Slow Season. Hailing from Visalia, California, Slow Season are a rock group much like Rival Sons, with a decidedly vintage flavour – fans of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones will feel right at home.
It is not just mindless idolatry though, from David Kent and Hayden Doyel on guitar and bass respectively. Down to the Robert Plant and Ozzy vocal styles of Daniel Rice and the Bonham aping Coby Tarbell, these chaps can really play. One of the main draws, and a definitive improvement from their eponymous 2012 debut, is the production values. Recorded live on reel to reel tape, analogue to you and me, the sound is pure and organic – you get a real sense for the musicians behind the songs.
That being said, they do like to borrow the odd riff or two from the rockers of yesteryear. Blistering opening track ‘Sixty-Eight’ has strong undertones of ‘Good Times, Bad Times’ to it, especially the wonderfully huge drum sound by Cody. ‘Aint Gonna Listen’, an album highlight, strongly channels The Rolling Stones at their Vietnam bating best. That’s not to take away from the songs, and the fantastic chemistry evident in the record. Original they certainly aint though, as Cody says himself on the band’s official website;
I’d love for people to wonder if this record is actually from 1969. We wanted to capture that spirit. That was the goal.
It is a goal they have certainly achieved, but despite the stellar musicianship on show the record lacks a certain spark. There is nothing wrong with rock with a vintage feel to it but it is largely lacking in anthems, with the pace rarely picking up. As a result “Mountains” shows a band on fine form with great chemistry but with songs that lack a punch.