Glen Hughes obviously didn't waste any time in continuing his musical legacy when Black Country Communion split up. In fact, it took a mere few months for California Breed (consisting of two members from the former band and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Watt) to form, and with eccentric drummer Jason Bonham in the picture, it is inevitable that the band's self-titled debut release will be invigorating.
reeks of enthusiasm, energy and swagger, from the opening riff of “The Way” to the closing, slightly hypnotizing moments of “Breathe”. The instrumentation here is for the most part hard-hitting, the straightforward likes of “Chemical Rain”, “Midnight Oil” and “Spit you out” proving no less enticing than you would expect. The guitar work is fantastic and has quite a hard edge, and on the aforementioned songs contributes effectively towards a tight and solid rhythm section, made even more impressive by Bonham's brilliant drum work. Not all songs sound the same however, and there are times where California Breed
embraces influences from stoner rock and doom metal. You can hear this clearly in the slow-paced, laidback riffs of “Sweet Tea”, “All falls Down” and “Invisible”, and it all makes for the perfect soundtrack to a scorching California summer. Admittedly one or two songs towards the end can get a little tiring and repetitive, but it is inevitable given the simplicity of the songwriting.
Hughes' vocal delivery is essential to making California Breed
the energetic rock beats that it is. As on BCC, he has an invigorating vocal range which either croons melodically (“All falls down”, “Breathe”), sings with a relaxed tone (“Midnight Oil”) or stretches the man's voice where he puts on his most ferocious performance yet (“The Way”, “Spit you out”, “Scars”). Put simply, Hughes outdoes himself on California Breed
, and it's almost as if he's trying to relive the mid 80s in all its former glory. There are also additional female vocals to be found on songs such as “Midnight Oil” and “Breathe”, further exploring the rock 'n' roll swagger of the album's general sound, and although this may put off listeners who are looking for a softer, more experimental side to the rock genre, it is powerful enough to get anyone's heads nodding along.
As straightforward as it may be, California Breed
further exemplifies the musical talents of Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham and Andrew Watt in the form of a 50-minute album, exploding with youthful energy and a mission to simple let the listener lay back and enjoy what's on offer. For those of you who are basking in the warm sunshine (as I am as I write this), California Breed
serves as an ultimately fitting soundtrack.