Black Stone Cherry
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea


2.0
poor

Review

by Austin USER (41 Reviews)
June 5th, 2011 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This lonely train has gone off the tracks.

Black Stone Cherry was one of the bands that had a chance to restore some credibility to the much-maligned genre of mainstream rock. Their first two albums weren’t revolutionary by any means, they were just full of fun southern rock tracks that showed a lot of talent for such a young band. They took the Lynyrd Skynyrd-influenced melodies, lyrics, and guitar solos and added the beefed-up distortion of modern rock and metal to create massive-sounding songs like Lonely Train and The Bitter End. Although they’ve enjoyed a reasonable amount of success, they’ve never had that one big hit or that one album that turned them into superstars. Regardless, the band’s drive to create fun, energetic rock and roll has worked out quite well for them so far.

But why play quality southern rock when you can sound like Hinder? Here on the band’s third outing, the influence from their touring partner is all too clear. The three main culprits are White Trash Millionaire, Blame It on the Boom Boom, and Shake. The songs are exactly what you would expect from the titles, attempting to cash in on the bland wave of cock-rock that’s been in style recently. Despite having the talent to do otherwise, Black Stone Cherry ends up sounding like a parody of the genre they were working toward revitalizing. The lyrics have gone from tales of folklore to what you would hear on the latest Nickelback, Hinder, and Buckcherry releases, with simplistic riffs to support them.

Elsewhere on the album, it’s ballad after ballad, and the charm of previous bluesy cuts like Hell and High Water and Tired of the Rain is nowhere to be found. It’s just bland, boring balladry, and these songs make up half the tracklist, killing any chance that the album had of picking up steam. Chris’ vocals are still one of the biggest strengths of the album, but even he doesn’t sound too inspired this time. In My Blood even employs obnoxious vocal effects in the chorus to make it extra poppy rather than just letting him sing. The drop in songwriting quality is surprising given how great the band chemistry was on the previous albums. It seems they’ve already started running out of ideas with only three albums under their belt.

Thankfully, when Black Stone Cherry actually tries to play some rock, they end up with the only decent songs on the album. Killing Floor effectively utilizes a simple groove, and would have fit in well on the band’s sophomore album. Such a Shame is a fast-tempo rocker that actually contains an engaging riff, managing to break the album out of its sludgy pace for a few minutes. Change attempts a similar approach but merely sounds like a weak attempt at another Lonely Train, with a copycat riff and an annoying, anticlimactic chorus. The only other noteworthy track on the album is a decent cover of Marshall Tucker Band’s Can’t You See, which shows how well the band performs when going back to their roots.

Unfortunately, a few above-average moments are not enough to save the album. The musicianship that was so entertaining on the previous albums fails to impress this time around. The guitar solos are less frequent and less impressive. Drummer John Young has gone from his energetic playing on the band’s previous albums to more standard beats and barely any of those quick fills that used to add a lot of flavor to the band’s heavier tracks. Frankly, it just sounds like the band isn’t even trying most of the time here. It really would be a shame for this to be the album that gave them the most success, because it lacks all of the fun and creativity of the previous efforts, merely aiming for chart success with attention-grabbing singles like White Trash Millionaire. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a lazy effort from a band that can do a lot better.

Top Tracks:

Killing Floor
Such a Shame
Can’t You See



Recent reviews by this author
Alter Bridge FortressGrammatrain Lonely House
Riverside Shrine Of New Generation SlavesMark Tremonti All I Was
Shinedown AmaryllisBuckethead It's Alive
user ratings (85)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • thatdudeud0ntknow (3)
    Oh, how the mighty have fallen....

    Richard Warrell (2)
    An inferior release by a superior band. Perfectly enjoyable, but drastically under-achievi...

    Joel Hargreaves (3.5)
    Black Stone Cherry return to fine tune their signature sound even further and throw in a f...

    Hovercun7 (4)
    Black Stone Cherry hack their way through the crowded jungle of wannabe Rock 'n' Roll band...

  • CoConi (2)
    After "Folklore and Superstition", Black Stone Cherry really disappoint with their latest ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
tiesthatbind
June 5th 2011


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Bleh, disappointing album.

At least it was fun writing a negative review for once.

Digging: xSPONGEXCOREx - How Tough Are Yah?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2011


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nice review man.

I don't agree entirely though. I've just given the album its first two spins and I liked it. It's not quite as good as the first two but it's still fun rock music. Imo only the lyrics have gone drastically downhill (Blame It On The Boom Boom? Really?). The album's in the 3 range for me and doesn't sound that bad at all to these ears.

tiesthatbind
June 5th 2011


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I can understand that. I pondered a 2.5 considering I do like a few songs, but everything about the band has gotten worse this time, and the fact that tracks 1, 6, and 9 made it on this album and will probably all be singles just sealed the deal.

That said, I put the 3 songs I rec'd here on my iPod and enjoy them pretty well, even mixed in with their other albums.

pizzamachine
June 5th 2011


12571 Comments


I'm pretty curious now. Great review.

tiesthatbind
June 5th 2011


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Thanks man. Some people will probably enjoy this more than me, but this is definitely several steps below their other albums.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2011


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

tbh Ties I actually like the first track's musical side quite a bit, if only because it gives a good, energetic kick start to the album.

My favorite track isn't even on the full album though haha; it's the bonus track "Staring At The Mirror" so if you haven't heard that one, I'd recommend you do.

tiesthatbind
June 5th 2011


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I actually like the first track's musical side quite a bit, if only because it gives a good, energetic kick start to the album.

It's definitely the more tolerable of the 3 for that reason. The lyrics are still too off-putting for me to enjoy it though.

Staring at the Mirror is pretty good. It should've replaced one of the songs on the album.

pizzamachine
June 5th 2011


12571 Comments


After listening to the album I wouldn't say it's bad, but it screams radio rock to me, and not in the good way.

Emim
June 5th 2011


26625 Comments


OMG A TIESTHATBIND REVIEW


neg

tiesthatbind
June 5th 2011


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

NOOOOOO

Emim
June 5th 2011


26625 Comments


Oh darn, it seems I hit the wrong button...

tiesthatbind
June 5th 2011


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

*phew

Guess I lucked out this time.

Emim
June 5th 2011


26625 Comments


Hope you don't mind if I never listen to this

tiesthatbind
June 6th 2011


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Good decision.

CreamCrazy
June 6th 2011


724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I want to buy it, but after hearing what Chris Robertson said about the recording of this album in an interview; it
makes me feel this will be underwhelming, bland & disappointing:

"What was crazy was we took the whole year off to write this album. But after the first four months we thought
we had it wrapped up and that we had all the songs ready to go and record.

“But our label were keen for us to take some more time and work with some co-writers. We didn’t want to do that at
all as we didn’t want the sound of the band to change. A lot of bands are scared to do that. We certainly were. We
were fearful and didn’t want the stuff to take a different direction as we’ve been pushing our sound for so long and
we were worried we’d lose our fans who really enjoyed our music."


Too bad that from what i have heard from this, the sound looks to already have changed. Me & some fans aren't
really pleased with this, in all fairness.

ReturnToRock
June 16th 2011


3448 Comments


I enjoyed their first two, particularly the second with its 80s leanings....

BigHans
June 16th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I listened to this last week and cant remember any of it really.

tiesthatbind
June 16th 2011


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Suuuuuuuuuucks

TheRamblingElf
July 13th 2011


38 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Strangely, from memory I believe Boom Boom, one of the worst songs, is among the few that isn't co-written by a songwriter. Possibly the only one (going on memory).



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy