Rival Sons
Great Western Valkyrie


4.0
excellent

Review

by Antonius USER (25 Reviews)
June 13th, 2014 | 33 replies | 4,053 views


Release Date: 06/06/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rival Sons strive to record the album of the year

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Unlike many of their antagonists in the retro/modern blues rock arena, the Californian entourage doesn't need vintage equipment to engage you in the spirit. Away from studio effects, cheap choruses and indifferent about mainstream success, Rival Sons present us an album very influenced by the roots of rock music. The feeling goes back in the 60s and early 70s era, something which is more evident in this release than any of the previous ones. They do not care about sounding 'original'. They are even provocative enough to challenge criticism, but they are miles beyond such obstacles: fans and critics have already got the spell.

The idiosyncratic band introduce us to Great Western Valkyrie in a similar tone as with its predecessor. The similarities between "Electric Man" and "Keep on Swinging" are massive and apparent on the one hand, but very welcomed on the other. Apart from the powerfull riffs, Buchanan's voice is so engaging that by the second time you listen it you'll get yourself whispering "ohh, I don't know, I don't know...". At a similar tone "Good Luck" follows just to make things clear -if they haven't become already- about the album's content. Yet the melodic part that the keyboards play in this song is one of the characteristics that was missing to take the band into another level: melodic, discreet and catchy. Just as it happens to the bluesy "Good Things", the electrifying "Secret" and the southern style ballad "Where I've Been".

Instrumentally, the album is more cohesive, diverse and attractive than any previous releases. They seek precision over complexity. The eccentric Scott Holiday manages so skillfully to transfer his style into riffs that the end result is captivating. "Destination On Course" is probably his best performance as he plays so proficiently and in combination with Buchanan's soulful vocals the album closes in triumph. Michael Miley's drumming in "Play The Fool" is among his top moments in the album. With a simple bass/snare drum pattern he gives a dynamic vibe to the song while Dave Beste's bass line in "Belle Starr" is his personal highlight.

Even before its release, Great Western Valkyrie attracted strong criticism in the music world. Can someone argue that "Open My Eyes" has an identical drum intro to Zeppelin's "Kashmir"? By all means. Do the trembling vocals in "Secret" may suggest an inclination towards Plant's distinctive style? Certainly. Despite all that, the style, the aura, the mojo that these guys exert in their songs will grasp your attention. Nevertheless, "Open My Eyes" is a groovy, catchy and powerfull composition only to prepare you for the intoxicating "Rich and The Poor".

Great Western Valkyrie is probably the band's best effort in their career so far. Rival Sons have lived to the expectations. They've stayed true to their image and with such solid performances audiences cannot ignore their music. How can you accept that rock is dead with albums like this?



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
danielcardoso
June 13th 2014



1807 Comments


Nice review but not sure about that "album of the year" quote of yours.

Antonius
June 13th 2014



219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The guys did their best to record the album of the year. I dont say it is

Digging: Blues Pills - Blues Pills

JS19
June 13th 2014



4215 Comments


Damn these guys have been knocking out the records, looking forward to hear this one

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

RivalSkoomaDealer
June 13th 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't know they had a new one out. I'll check this out eventually.

Digging: Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]

Mad.
June 13th 2014



3668 Comments


For some reason Bandsintown was trying to convince me to go to these guys' concert, guess I better check them out now. Great review, pos'd.

Is this streaming anywhere?

Digging: Anubis - Hitchhiking to Byzantium

JJOMan
June 13th 2014



270 Comments


I liked pressure and time so I'll definitely listen to this

RivalSkoomaDealer
June 13th 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

STREAM:

http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Great+Western+Valkyrie/9730321

Mad.
June 13th 2014



3668 Comments


Thanks for the LINK

benkim
June 13th 2014



2092 Comments


Loved Pressure and Time but don't have this or their last one. Must fix that soon!

Killerhit
June 13th 2014



5249 Comments


you know i think everyone and every band strives to make the album of the year

Green Baron
June 13th 2014



19126 Comments


gotta keep on swingin

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2014



1963 Comments


I've gotsta jam this soon

Digging: James Blake - Overgrown

RivalSkoomaDealer
June 14th 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You're WELCOME

TooManyFriends
June 14th 2014



585 Comments


good band

Antonius
June 15th 2014



219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very good album

Mad.
June 17th 2014



3668 Comments


Congrats on the feature br0

Thibs
June 17th 2014



1286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

saw these guys live last year and they were a nice surprise

Digging: Blood Farmers - Headless Eyes

Antonius
June 17th 2014



219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm tempted to travel to the uk to see them on December. I'm sure I won't regret

Mad.
June 17th 2014



3668 Comments


Do you not live in the UK? It's a nice place I assure you!

SharkTooth
June 17th 2014



3905 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Groovy stuff
"Gonna take you to the promise land"

Digging: The Dillinger Escape Plan - Irony Is a Dead Scene



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