Rival Sons

Pressure & Time

Written by: PP on 22/06/2011 03:18:07

I have never seen a worldwide promotional push like this for a band on Earache. Then again, I've never heard a band on Earache that sounds like Rival Sons. How exactly does a label renowned for its extreme metal releases sign a classic 70s sounding rock'n'roll band whose vocalist could very well be the bastard child of an illegitimate relationship between Lenny Kravitz and Andrew Stockdale (Wolfmother)? I'll tell you how. A demo of "Pressure & Time" lands on the A&R rep's desk, they pop it in for a quick listen, and are blown away over how authentic and kick-ass the record sounds like, instantly hand the band a contract, and start sending copies of the record to journalists world-wide. If there ever was a time when I was absolutely convinced an album was going to take the band into mainstream knowledge, then this is it. "Pressure & Time" is hands down the finest rock'n'roll album since the release of the Wolfmother debut, and one that you'll be hearing a lot about very, very soon.

There are a couple of key reasons why. Firstly, Rival Sons possess precisely the same quality that made Wolfmother so widely known in the first place: they sound incredibly authentic and convincing on all ten tracks of the album. Yes, the style is more or less identical to those purveyed by the likes of The Parlor Mob or indeed Wolfmother, but the execution is flawless to the point that it makes you think that the 80s, the 90s, or the 2000s never happened and we're back in the wailing vocalists and psychedelia-driven guitars of the Zeppelin days. I guess time travel really is possible. Not only do the guitars twang and bend in the best bluesy rock manner, heavily modified by effects panels and a ton of pedals, but the band's guitarist has a world-class sense of when to fire out an awesome, ass-kicking rock'n'roll riff, when to descend into effect-laden psychedelia, and when to just jam out to make space for their vocalist.

Oh yeah. The vocalist, Jay Buchanan. What a golden throat he owns indeed. He wails, he shouts, he sings his way through classic rock'n'roll tracks in a manner that can only be described as star-quality. He has an amazing, incredible voice which will rest assured land him in the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame if he continues like this on future records. His work on the Wolfmother-reminiscent track "White Noise" is nothing short of astonishing. Or what about his heartfelt cleans on the album's ballad "Face Of Light"? Or I could also mention the charismatic, instantly recognizable work on album opener "All Over The Road". It is indeed difficult, if not impossible, to find flaws in his delivery across the whole album.

The vast majority of retro rock bands that reach back to the 70s have one problem that Rival Sons simply doesn't have: they sound dated and uninspired, like shadows of the former glory of a genre that went out of style long time ago. Except it never did. Throughout the album Rival Sons display the whole 70s rock scene in a timeless light, one that feels so natural and so right, even though the genre's perpetrator's have long ago moved on. Their execution is so believable and convincing that it wouldn't be difficult to imagine if all members in the band are loosely connected to the Zeppelin offspring somehow. The songs are simply too good, too catchy, too well-written to be disregarded as copycat work or cloned versions of past greats, even if that might very well be the case in many instances. So could Rival Sons be the next Wolfmother? Based on "Pressure & Time", absolutely, and from what I've seen, the review-corps seems to be in universal agreement. This is it, my friends, the moment right before a band explodes to stardom.


Download: White Noise, All Over The Road, Only One, Get Mine
For the fans of: Wolfmother, Lenny Kravitz, The Parlor Mob, Led Zeppelin
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.06.2011

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