Rival Sons Head Down

By Stephanie Husseyheaddownfrontcover

Rival Sons:  Head Down

Released: September 17, 2012

Earache Records.

Rival Sons is an LA band, bringing a non-stop, rock-n-roll experience - oozing with slink, grit and attitude. When Rival Sons opened for Evanescence on October 28, 2011, my first reaction was, "...This band ROCKS!" To say I was impressed is an understatement- I had to hear more from them. I put my hands on the CD, Pressure and Time, and found the music steeped in rich soul and swampy blues.  Fusing shades of The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival, the CD spun with a vintage sound from the late 60's/early 70's that was filled with unbridled energy.  Rival Sons entrenched their style with a rowdy bold swagger. Pressure and Time is fresh, exhilarating and all attitude.  

So, how is their current CD, Head Down? ... Even better!

stormandthedalesStorm and The Dales pulled together a great set of demos that are hidden gems of early classic rock, punk originals. The EP holds great promise for the future of quality music to continue, if only we could get guys like this on the radio.

"It's Not Me, It's You" worked out a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground jump jam. The guitar echos in the background and then takes the center for a brief few seconds, the ache in Dean's vocals are a bit of Paul Westerberg on his solo works. He's got a range of indie punk edges going on, but manages to engage the listeners to keep his own sound.

"Heart and Soul" starts out with the march of drums, and a Squirrel Nut Zippers twisted melody, that could have some New Orleans mischief in store.  And twisted it is, with the lyrics reversing the idiom that one wears their heart on their sleeve to: "My heart and soul, you wear it on your sleeve, my heart and soul, won't you give it back to me."  Fans on the Storm and The Dales site state that this song creates a smokey, tipsy atmosphere, including a Bolero vibe.

"The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is my favorite song of the collection. Even the kitschy, "wolf, wolf, wolf" phrase, I love it, because it brings out your crooked smile. The vocals are a low, confident, casual cool, and that's what we need when talking so seriously about boys who cry wolf. Say it straight, without apology. This is a danceable tune with a loose easy melody. It's very relaxing to hear, because it gives the listener choices. The guitar work on this and all of the songs is good, very understated, and places solid foundations for the songs to build. The bass-line is a solid singer songwriter style, almost a Gerry Rafferty throwback, which is quite a stumble upon to greatness in my book. "Once bitten twice (as) shy ... now known as one who tells lies ... " Ian Hunter and Great White would be jamming along too and these are no tall tales.

"Bad Little Girl" has been compared to something off of The Beatles' "Hard Day's Night," and I'd agree. I could also hear Alex Chilton singing along too, with some Kinks mixed in, because the song is whimsical, dark, rhythmic, catchy, pop and rock, all at the same time. Love the guitar bridge, it is sparse and keeps the focus on the background harmonies and vocals.

"No Love" rains with interest and has more special effects. A darker sound echos old school techno eras, the love songs of that time often embraced the ambiguous. Saigon Shredder is listed in the song credits.

Black Country Communion has taken off and created an intense set of albums in just a few short years. Afterglow was reviewed by Deb Hebert, the writer for The Week in Joe, as well as our own webmaster, Brian Shea. We had a lot of discussion of this band both on the website and with our readers. I listened to the record right along in pre-release and had these comments and reactions to the record:


katwebOld school name dropping can start with Anita Baker, certainly as smooth and calming, but not as broad and deep. Contemporary comparisons could be made with Corinne Bailey Rae, although Kat Webb's voice stays at a higher pitch than these others. These pointed differences are a good thing. Any artist needs their own distinct sound.  The background vocals and instrumentation are classic soul, with some jazz vibes. 

"Afterglow - Emerging As A True Classic"
Black Country Communion Afterglow album coverA Review of Afterglow, Black Country Communion
by Brian Shea

Does anyone remember the sounds of the early 70's? BCC sure does, and creates a true homage to the great classic rock albums of the past, and to the huge powerful acts that filled arenas. I can hear so many influences in the songs, including Deep Purple, The Who, Bad Company, Rush, and, ok, maybe a little Led Zeppelin (hard blues rock with incredible pounding drums from Bonham).

At first listen, I was really blown away. So much so that I thought it could end up being one of those Classic Classics, the one's we look back and go WOW! Albums such as Appetite for Destruction, Ten, Temple of the Dog, Machine Head, Who's Next, Moving Pictures, or VH 1. You get the picture. (sure, throw in a Zep album or two if you like).

That was my first impression.

From RoastingHouse Records/Universal.

Press Release:

We're happy to announce the release of the Swedish rockband GIRI's second album "FIDGET" (March 12, 2012)

The first single "Lost And Found" has already got rotation on radiostations in Europe. "FIDGET" is a twelve track album and the songs are written, produced and mastered by GIRI.


Excerpts From the Press Biography:

Rebecca Brandt, is a New York composer and pianist from Brooklyn. Her debut album, is Numbers & Shapes. Rebecca's vision includes arrangements for over twenty instruments on fourteen tracks. She has blended classical music in a way that brings together fans of a range of genres, having been compared to works by Philip Glass, Pink Floyd, and Rush. The instruments you will hear on this record include; the harp, flute, bassoon, string trio, double bass, glockenspiels, djembes, and cellos. "The Moment" features a 32-piece orchestra.
"Numbers & Shapes" is 14 tracks of original compositions, written and orchestrated for 30+ instruments. The album blends a variety of genres, mainly electro-acoustic, contemporary classical, and electronic sounds. Yet each song is unique and takes on its own shape, sometimes playing on jazz or world rhythms; one track has a post-rock vibe, another is ambient and dreamy, others are more traditionally classical.

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