Review Summary: A classic rock revival.
A few days ago I was searching through my iPod. To help you understand the specifics, I was looking for bands that sound like carbon copies of classic rock bands. It’s interesting to notice a sole influence in a band’s overall sound and mood. For instance, I can tell that Wolfmother is the son of Led Zeppelin. Airbourne is a modern day AC/DC. Foxy Shazam, the birthchild of Queen. Trivium, a contemporary Metallica. The list can go on and on. A major component of the way a band sounds are the bands that came before them. But where does Rival Sons fit on the family tree?
Rival Sons is a new band with unending classic rock influences. Though they kick up the mud and have the bluesy feel of The Black Keys, they sound a bit grungy, a bit classic, a bit soulful, but most of all, original. In other words, it’s hard to find who else they sound like in modern times, which helps make their debut album Pressure And Time more enjoyable than it already is. And it already is a terrific record without a single skippable song.
“All Over The Road” does a great job of showing who this band is. It makes a statement, it’s catchy, it rocks, and it’s a very memorable song. The opener just urges you to keep on listening. And that leads you into “Young Love” and eventually “Pressure And Time,” two songs that continue the band’s sound, but switch the mood and setting up a bit. The guitar is crunchy and loud, while the vocals are thick and low. One word to describe the instrumentation would be big. It shows influence from bands like The Who, Zeppelin, and even Alice Cooper. You can also tell with the intro to “Save Me” and “Gypsy Heart” that the Los Angeles natives must have listened to some Ozzy and Black Sabbath growing up.
“Burn Down Los Angeles” is a metaphor-filled, odd tribute to their hometown, while it shows that their lyrics are impactful and cleverly written. In fact, all of the songs are, though there is no soft song. There are some slower moments though, letting you catch your breath because Pressure And Time is like going on a roller coaster through time. Rival Sons brings with their personality a lot of classic rock influences, while they modernize and tweak their sound to perfection. There’s no filler here; the songwriting and structure of the tracks was impressive and takes the best from Rival Sons’ talent and serves it on an easy-to-swallow platter.
Songs like “Only One” have the keyboard that Kansas and Steely Dan used so much to their advantage, and it adds to the hard rock, passionate feel that the songs have. Numerous guitar solos continue a trend of rocking out, as they bring countless distorted riffs and juicy bass lines and melodies into the mix, fitting to the hard rock sound they possess, while Jay Buchanan’s vocals are another swift reminder of the awesome rock and roll highway that masterminds like Zeppelin and company drove on before them.
Pressure And Time should definitely be considered when compiling your Album of the Year, because it simply sounds good. There aren’t a lot of albums this year that I can say just totally blew me away, and this one did. And to be Rival Sons’ debut shows that they have something special that not a lot of bands have. Their mix of classic and blues rock may brings in a lot of nostalgia and will satisfy a lot of hard rock fans in addition to hipsters. This album rocks AND has unending passion, is there anything else I need to tell you?
Also found on The Review Spider: http://thereviewspider.net/2011/07/pressure-and-time-rival-sons/