Rival Sons are now on their sixth studio album and we are just shy of 10 years since the debut album and I hate to admit that I had only been a casual fan throughout. That has since changed with the release of ‘Feral Roots’. There is no need to be casual as a deep dive is needed to explore all the textures they have delivered over the years.
Why the change of heart? Well, easily it is this album. But before we get into the good of this album, we have to explore the bad. What is bad about this album? Well, not a damn thing!
From the opening fuzzy guitar riffs of “Do Your Worst”, Rival Sons come out swinging with a pure rock & roll album. It is bluesy, it is heavy, it is retro, it is fan’freaking’tastic. This is what Rock & Roll music should sound like.
What is the best part of this album? Well, it is the drumming of Mike Miley. Not since Kiss’ Creatures of the Night album have the drums sounded so great and been such an integral part of the sound of an album. His NRA approved, machine gun barrage of drumming to open “Back in the Woods” had me screaming as I was driving down the road at 6am in the morning heading to work.
Not to be outdone, Scott Holiday’s guitar work has moved him up a few pegs on who I would consider one of the best guitarists out there today. His playing on this album was inspiring, just listen to “Sugar on the Bone” and “Too Bad” and you will see what I mean. It had grit, distortion and power. The solos were nothing short of amazing and he has made this one guitar-heavy album. Something that had been missing in rock for a long time.
Jay Buchanan is no slouch either as the singer or even the rhythm guitarists. I love his voice. It has so much character and passion. He sounds like he should have been singing in the 70’s as he has that perfect rock style. He helps elevate these songs to another level especially on “Feral Roots”, “Look Away” and “Imperial Joy”. At times his vocals and the band for that matter reminded me of Bad Company which is always a good thing.
Not to be left out is Dave Beste on bass. He is just as important as Mike on drums as they lay down the rhythm and the grooves that keep the songs moving and keep that head bobbing and foot tapping. Listen to Dave’s funky bass lines on “Stood by Me” and you will hear how key he is to the sound.
Rival Sons delivers one of the best albums of their career and is already on my list for Top Albums of 2019 and the other bands take note that you will have to bring it to knock this one off the list. If people think Rock is Dead, I am sorry to let you know that is far from the truth. Rock is alive and kicking with Rival Sons and may they carry the torch for years to come. This easily gets a 100% on the Track Score as nothing is being deleted off this beast. An my overall album rating is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars mainly for that drumming and the fantastic guitar work mentioned earlier. It is brilliant!!!