Having spent the last decade in a period I term the dark ages I have finally come to my senses and rediscovered the main passion in my life which is music. During this time where music was very much lacking in my life there have probably been many great bands I have missed out on and one of those bands are Rivals Sons. Having already released 3 previous albums it was only this year that I heard them due to some airplay on radio stations over here in the UK from their latest album Great Western Valkyrie and I immediately loved the retro vibe this band produce, which debuted in the UK in the Top 20 of the albums charts and sticking 2 fingers up to those that say rock music is dead.
This US band featuring Jay Buchanan (Vocals) Scott Holiday (Guitar) Dave Beste (Bass) Michael Miley (Drums) formed in 2009 and have been steadily gaining support both in Europe and the US over the last few years, with Europe and the UK especially gaining a real appetite for the band with many of their live dates being sold out. Great Western Valkyrie sums up perfectly why this band has a lot of fans and I only wish I had heard of them before.
The album is reminiscent of many great bands that are iconic still to this day and it is certainly no throw away comment to compare them to those such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors and all those bands of that era that remain popular to this day even to a new generation of music fans. The whole sound of the album with the great vocals of Jay over a retro bluesy/rock vibe from Scott, Dave and Michael brings back fond memories to those of us that remember the 70’s but at the same time being fresh and innovative to gain much younger rock music fans.
Great Western Valkyrie opens with Electric Man, filled instantly with a catchy guitar riff throughout the song and a definite groove and leads nicely into Good Luck which takes you back to a time when rock music ruled the charts. The third track Secrets ups the tempo to a just another level and here the vocals really come to the fore. Play The Fool for me is what brings this album back into the here and now, before easing off just slightly on Good Things and reverting back to that bluesy sound this band do so well. With Open Your Eyes being a firm favourite due it being released as a single, for me this is still very much the Rival Sons sound at its best that grabbed my attention in the first place. Rich and Poor starts off slightly more delicate than some of the other songs but soon has a crashing crescendo of a chorus before leading into Belle Starr once again a real mixture of riffs and gentleness. Having been rocked out for the last 8 tracks, the album then ends with Where I’ve been and Destination Course, both tracks having powerful yet soft vocals and that real blues sound from the rest of the band that to me slightly reminds me of Cream which is a great sound to end on.
It’s an album full of changing styles which makes the album very interesting to listen to as you never really know what is going to come next on the first listen and because every song has its own style is something that will always keep your attention no matter how many times it is played.
Having really enjoyed Great Western Valkyrie I am very much looking forward to seeing them when they tour the UK again in December, which will probably be the last time you can see the band in smaller venues as this album is going to propel them onto far bigger success due to it being such a great record. I now also need to invest in their other albums as this band fills a huge gap in my record collection.
More information can be found on the website of Rival Sons http://www.rivalsons.com where you can find details of their tour and music. Earache Records, home to some of the best bands at the moment have both US and European stores featuring a number of exclusives from the band so check them out at http://www.earache.com. Rival Sons can also be found on Twitter and Facebook for updates.