Black Stone Cherry

Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea

Written by: PP on 01/10/2011 03:57:57

In this day and age good rock bands are hard to come by, and by rock bands I mean those groups that don't succumb to any subgenre or niche within the industry, but those who stick to the trend and fad-less resurgence of rock music with feeling during the 90s and early 2000s. Where the majority of bands playing mainstream rock today - or radio rock as many people refer to it - are happy to write a couple of radio singles and stuff the rest of the album with standard filler (Nickelback, for example), its left to bands like Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry - the subject of this review - to carry the torch of quality rock music. Their previous albums have been well-received by both the press and the fans, a trend which continues with their third full length "Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea".

Soundwise, Black Stone Cherry fall somewhere in the same stylistic range as Alter Bridge, except where they impress with breathtaking musicianship, BSC lean towards the power hard rock of Rev Theory and Shinedown, though with a clear southern rock twist to it. Think Lynyrd Skynyrd had they been influenced by the post-grunge bands of the 90s. They're the archetypical American radio rock band with huge, hook-laden choruses and stadium-sized instrumentation, and like many of their contemporary peers, they have an excellent vocalist with a great voice for their style of music: Chris Robertson has a good range that can be evenly applied to softer ballads as well as to the soaring choruses of instantly catchy songs like "Killing Floor" and "Such A Shame". He has just the right amount of charisma and star quality in him to convince the listener that you're dealing with a rock star in the classical meaning of the word.

And while the rest of Black Stone Cherry are skilled musicians in their own right, Robertson is undeniably the carrying force of the band. Some of his vocal melodies are so good that when placed on display, it wouldn't be out of the question to see Chad Kroeger drooling at the shop window. It's a shame that Black Stone Cherry fail to take full advantage of his ability for chart bursting rock anthems - there are simply too many ballads that aren't as effective nor as powerful as the hard-hitting songs on the record. Moreover, a song like "Blame It On The Boom Boom" is a cheap shot at dumbing down your music for the Alabama crowd, and its inclusion on the record makes it sound like it's directed to a less intelligent audience than what the majority of the songs otherwise suggest. The good news is, however, that it's very easy to like Black Stone Cherry songs in general. They're not a groundbreaking band nor a particularly original one, but they stay faithful to their genre and do it better and more convincingly than many of their contemporaries.


Download: Killing Floor, Such A Shame, Stay, In My Blood
For the fans of: Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Rev Theory, The Black Crowes
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.05.2011
Roadrunner Records

Black Stone Cherry - White Trash Millionaire (Radio Edit)

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