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Rival Sons: Great Western Valkyrie

California's Rival Sons are either the best band nobody knows about or a group that everyone secretly loves and just don't talk enough about. Seriously, with their fourth album Great Western Valkyrie, Rival Sons have once again made the statement that they 'own' retro '60s/'70s music with a modern twist. As in past releases, this one just oozes elements from the psychedelic, hard rock, and soul eras, the band conjuring up images of Free, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Grand Funk Railroad, T-Rex, and, well, too many other vintage acts to name. The great thing is, the band has plenty of their own identity, their music fresh & unique despite all the classic elements that drift through their songs.

"Electric Man" is a perfect opener, a bluesy, hard rock hellraiser featuring powerful, wailing vocals courtesy of Jay Buchanan and some stellar riffs from guitarist Scott Holliday. There's plenty of R&B on the upbeat, groove laden "Good Luck", while "Secret" combines the raw, primal energy of early Grand Funk, The Faces, or The Who, complete with fat bass lines from new guy Dave Beste and Buchanan's uncanny vocal delivering, which remind at times of the great Paul Rodgers. "Play the Fool" throws some serious fuzz guitar riffs and catchy hooks at the listener, and "Good Things" drifts away from the hard rock of the first four songs into pure '60s styled psychedelic pop, tossing in some chilling organ passages for good measure. That leads into the massive stomp of "Open My Eyes", a herculean blues rocker with more than enough Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Cactus, and Beck Bogert Appice thunder, thanks to some some great riffs, killer grooves, and more of those soaring vocals. It doesn't let up there, as evident by the moody "Rich and the Poor", another great psychedelic hard rock track, while "Belle Starr" takes a queue from The Small Faces and delivers convincing pop with more than enough psych & hard rock elements. By the time you get to the bluesy ballad "Where I've Been", you'll realize it's just about the perfect spot for that little break from the bombast, so sit back and listen to Buchanan's stunning vocal...you'll think you were listening to an old lost Free track. Closer "Destination on Course" goes down dark, bluesy avenues, again reminding of Free as well as Led Zeppelin, Buchanan sending chills up and down your spine with some of this best vocals on the album.

Great Western Valkyrie is just brilliant from start to finish, and shows a band that has fully captured the sounds of a long gone era and made them their own. If you love '60s and '70s rock, and have not yet checked this band out, do yourself a favor and make sure you do so immediately. It doesn't get much better than this folks.


Track Listing
1) Electric Man
2) Good Luck
3) Secret
4) Play the Fool
5) Good Things
6) Open My Eyes
7) Rich and the Poor
8) Belle Star
9) Where I've Been
10) Destination on Course

Added: July 10th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1672
Language: english

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