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Answer, The: New Horizon

I fully realize that I may well be in the minority here especially as I have always previously been able to ignore The Answer but my four word review of New Horizon would read, "better than Rival Sons." Both bands feature a bluesy '70s vibe and in my humble opinion, one of them (The Answer) do it via top quality, well-focused songs and the other (Rival Sons) seem to do it by having powerful friends in the music media.

With production by former Little Angels' frontman Toby Jepson and a mix by the experienced hand of Mike Fraser New Horizon is full of swagger, riffs, power and melody. Nowhere is this better encapsulated than in the title track itself. There are elements of funk throughout the album and bassist Micky Waters plays an absolute blinder, as, to be fair do all the band on what is by far their best record yet.

The single, "Spectacular" is, well…quite good if not actually spectacular but it is easy to see why this is the initial release as it is a highly effective slab of modern blues rock. At ten songs the album is concise enough and if it comes in a vinyl version I might actually buy it and coming from someone who gets stuff free, that is high praise.

Track Listing:
1. New Horizon
2. Leave With Nothin'
3. Spectacular
4. Speak Now
5. Somebody Else
6. Concrete
7. Call Yourself a Friend
8. Baby Kill Me
9. Burn You Down
10. Scream a Louder Love

Added: September 28th 2013
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2746
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Answer, The: New Horizon
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-09-28 14:39:39
My Score:

I've always been confused as to why The Answer seem to be a well kept secret when other less exciting, or consistent acts (as suggested by my colleague above, Rival Sons, or Tracer anyone?) appear able to gain gushing reviews and more than ample rock radio air time. Rise hit the ground running, punchy rock anthems and gritty groovers abounding and while Everyday Demons was more of a holding album, Revival was exactly that, surging with energy and mouthy with attitude. However if Revival set things back on the upward path, New Horizon, while not musically offering any new outlook (thankfully), positively blows everything in its path to kingdom come.

Little Angel Toby Jepson produces, and the hugely respected and travelled Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Dio... I could go on...) mixes, giving this album a whacking wallop and crystal clarity that allows the title track, "Somebody Else" (nifty handclaps and all!) and "Concrete" to positively steamroller out of the speakers. All that would however mean nothing if the song writing wasn't up to scratch, but with the strongest set of songs The Answer have ever put together, New Horizon takes that challenge head on and comes out grinning viciously.

"Burn You Down" brings almost Native American thumpa thumpa drums that The Cult have made their own over the years, while "Baby Kill Me" grinds its loins with bluesy intent. "Call Yourself A Friend" slows everything down, reminding of Free as it does so, while "Speak Now" stomps and flails in between brooding mid-paced surges. However it is with the straight up hits of solid, honest rock that Irish bands (both Northern and Southern) seem to revel in so much, that Downpatrick's The Answer specialise in, with "Scream A Louder Love" and excellent lead off track "Spectacular" hitting fast and hard, leaving a lasting mark in the mind as they do.

Singer Cormac Neeson has always had a cracking set of pipes, but here he sounds so good it almost hurts, with his rasping throaty howls upping the intensity so ably provided by guitarist Paul Mahon, bassist Micky Waters and drummer James Heatley. The foursome locking together so tightly, you couldn't separate them with a ten foot crowbar.

New Horizon should offer The Answer exactly that, having the songs, performances and sound to open new doors and opportunities for a band who always had the ability. Now that a confident swagger has been added, this should, if there's any justice, be the album that breaks the band into the big time. Unlike some, they deserve it.

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