I’ve been a fan of Rival Sons since 2012 or thereabouts, and this band just keeps working their asses off, on stage and in the studio, getting to the point where they are now: signed by Atlantic Records, touring the world, and selling out stages in both North America and Europe.
“Feral Roots” is the band’s latest release, and it’s a powerhouse of an album, showcasing the band’s ability to blend riffy, heavy rock’n’roll sounds with soul and gospel, while also showing a willingness to head off the beaten path now and again.
Tunes like “Do Your Worst” with its deliciously dirty opening riff, “Back in the Woods” with the full-on killer drums knocking you off your feet, and the fiery sweet and hot “Sugar on the Bone”, are all heavy as dino-bones rock, with gnarly, sexy guitar-riffs rippling through them, and drums that go to 11 (and beyond). This is rock’n’roll that hearkens back to the past, but is rooted in the present, in the band’s own vision and skills. It is not watered down, it is not replicating what came before, it doesn’t sound just like anything or anyone else, it is original fury and fire, and it is awesome.
Front-man Jay Buchanan has one of the best voices in the music world right now, as far as I’m concerned. On “Feral Roots”, as on stage, his vocals are the fire at the heart of the band. Buchanan’s voice combines scintillating strength and piercing vulnerability, and he can go from one end of the spectrum to the other in one song, in one phrase. Listen to him on “Too Bad”, for example, a track that slays me on the record and slayed me even more when I saw the band live in Vancouver at The Vogue.
After listening to this album for a while now, “Too Bad” might be my favourite track on an album that is filled with solid gold tracks. If you need a great new song about good love gone bad, and about the desperation and jealousy and hurt it can bring, this tune brings. it. on.
And we go together like a hand and gun
Squeeze off a couple rounds
Put me away ’til next time you wanna hurt someone
Every now and then, you like to empty your clip, no no
Then I go right under your belt on your hip
Tracks like the tasty, shiny-good “Imperial Joy”, the lyrical glow of title track “Feral Roots”, and the soaring gospel-vibe of “Shooting Stars” add depth and light to another fantastic album from Rival Sons.
If you want to know what rock’n’roll can sound like in 2019, this is a great place to start.
- Jay Buchanan (vocals)
- Scott Holiday (guitar)
- Michael Miley (drums)
- Dave Beste (bass)
- Do Your Worst
- Sugar On The Bone
- Back In The Woods
- Look Away
- Feral Roots
- Too Bad
- Stood By Me
- Imperial Joy
- All Directions
- End Of Forever
- Shooting Stars