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In the late 80s during my junior high years, as my peers and I began to stamp our identities with music, we dug through our parents’ vinyl collections of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Who, Janis Jopelin.  Compared to the synth rock that ruled the radio at the time, the raucous ramblings of the previous generation sounded astoundingly genuine and raw.  They were a welling up of emotion from the inner depths of the soul.  It would be only a few years before Seattle grunge exploded on the music scene and we would be able to proclaim a new wave of guttural groaning as our own.

Perhaps it is time again to get back to basics.  Rival Sons is blazing with passionate blues-driven music; they are a modern day take on what made Zeppelin and company truly classic rock.

Already, Rival Sons and their June 20th debut, ‘Pressure & Time’ (Earache Records), have gotten Classic Rock Magazine nominations for best of the year.  This Los Angeles group is comprised of Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitars), Robin Everhart (bass),  and Miley (drums).  ‘Pressure & Time’ is ten well-paced tracks featuring explosive vocals, gut-wrenching reflective pieces, and lots of soul.

Rival Sons struts right in with expressions of immortality in “All Over the Road” saying, “We’ve got tonight, we’ve got forever.”  “Young Love” has hints of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” with resurrected Jim Morrison vocals.
The title track seizes your inner essence, shakes it, twists it, and throws it back without you ever having the chance to question the captor.  With the guitars sounding a bit like Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” the lyrics state, “It doesn’t take much to keep me satisfied.  I’m gonna get mine.”
Entitlement seems to be the running theme through ‘Pressure & Time’ as tracks like “Get Mine”, “Save Me”, and “Gypsy Heart” beat the breast of indignation.  Still, Rival Sons tempers their lyrics with humble wonder preventing them from sinking into angsty the-whole-world’s-against-me whining.
Some mellower but just as groovy tunes interspersed in the album are the heartfelt ballad “Only One” and the ending track, “Face of Light” which proves in a lovely way that vocalist Jay Buchanan can do much more than rant into the microphone.

Aching for renewal, Rival Sons leaves ‘Pressure & Time’ gripping each moment, saying, “if I can get through tonight…I think I’m going to like what tomorrow brings.” Hold on my friend, and remember, the darkest hour is just before dawn.

Rating: 5/5


Hear Rival Sons’ ‘Pressure and Time’ on MySpace.

Tour Dates:
All shows listed are in support of Evanescence.
10/10/11, Fox Theater, Oakland, CA
10/11/11, Palladium, Los Angeles, CA
10/14/11, Comerica Theater, Phoenix, AZ
10/15/11, AVA Amphitheater, Tucson, AZ
10/18/11, Sunken Gardens, San Antonio, TX
10/19/11, Palladium, Dallas, TX
10/21/11, Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
10/22/11, Congress Theater, Chicago, IL
10/24/11, Royal Oak Music Theater, Detroit, MI
10/25/11, The Sound Academy, Toronto, ON
10/27/11, Metropolis, Montreal, QC
10/28/11, Palladium, Worcester, MA
10/30/11, Showboat – House of Blues, Atlantic City, NJ
11/01/11, Terminal 5, New York, NY