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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CD Review: Rival Sons - Pressure & Time

Rival Sons - Pressure & Time

by Zac Boda

Rival Sons have a psychedelic aura levitating around them and their powerful chords and verses.  Recreating, all while refreshing, the sound that very well brought us to love the heavier music we revel in today.  RS's sound remind me of Led Zeppelin and The Black Crowes.  Thick bluesy riffs and basslines, and big sexy rock n' roll vocals and drum rolls.  I welcome all with open arms!  One too many bands have tried to do what RS is doing on Pressure & Time, but failed miserably, letting this very uplifting and inspiring sound become dry.  Fear not, RS have injected the retro rock scene with perfect balance. 

Pressure & Time kick off with "All Over the Road".  Fuzzed out guitars, rousing harmony, and opening lyrics, "We got the Caddillac, we gonna drive right into the sun..."  Take note, this is a pretty good way to start a rock album, or a road trip for that matter.  AOtR has all the ingredients to properly introduce a new listener to all that RS has to offer, as well as kick off a live show!  I would love to see this one in open air of stadium!

The title track "Pressure & Time" begin with a killer smooth bassline and the lyrics "Give me only what I need, it doesn't take too much to keep me satisfied..."  How fitting.  I also can't help but notice an almost BB King sounding backing vocal.  This touch is what really pulls P&T [the track] together.  All in all, we have another fantastic example of what bluesy rock n' roll should sound like. 

After RS wind it down a bit with "Only One" a fist pumping sing-a-long "Burn Down Los Angeles" follows shortly after.  An anthem style rock song will certainly get your blood pumping and BDLA delivers just that!  I can close my eyes and envision an enormous crowd wailing and stomping to this one. 

After the past twenty two minutes, you have rocked yourself silly, but RS will leave you with a very mind-bending track named "White Noise".  Beginning with a drum roll, overwhelming bass, fuzzy distortion, and some very genius lyrics WN has a deeper message.  Lines like: "There's a message coming to on my TV screen every-time I try to turn it on, tells me I'm inferior and incomplete I'm a fool being satisfied with what I've got." should ignite listener's minds... but we will leave politics to the professionals.  Hell, we're here for the music!  

Rival Sons have put together quite the package with Pressure & Time.  The artwork is odd but very cool (it was created by Storm Thorgerson).  One has to appreciate the hidden beauty at the top right corner... I wonder why it is 1:20ish?  Storm is known for creating artwork for (two of my, well everybody's, favorite bands) Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.  Bursting with solid tunes, great artwork, very intelligent (almost poetic) lyrics, and a label [Earache] that is working hard for a great band (the ad's and graphic designs all over the Earache and Rival Sons websites are very well done), Pressure & Time is a very attractive package.  Set for a release date in July 2011, I would put Pressure & Time high on my list to purchase. 

I give Rival Son's Pressure & Time a secure 8 out of 10.  

Jay Buchanan - Vocals
Scott Holiday - Guitars
Robin Everhart - Bass
Mike Miley - Drums


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