Rival Sons: Before The Fire

By: Dennis Cook

There's a ton-wad of "When The Levee Breaks"/"When you get to the bottom, you go back to the top of the slide" blues-rock goodness inside Rival Sons' 39-minute opening salvo, Before The Fire (Front Line Music). This is rock so un-ironic that the singer screams, "Whooo!" before the intro to marvelously Zeppelin-y opener "Tell Me Something," and they retain that high energy, just-barely-on-the-rails mojo throughout.

Lead singer Jay Buchanan tears into every syllable with laughter and lust, the sort of sound that makes young girls damp and grown men spill their drinks. Buchanan strongly recalls the Freddie Mercury of Queen's raunchy early work, and the rest of the band is messy-tight, flexing and strutting with utter confidence but little care for the jagged edges they leave behind. Rival Sons echo the best of their '70s ancestors (the spark scattering pairings of Bowie/Ronson and Page/Plant come readily to mind, with interestingly a small sprinkling of The Monkees to boot) and do the tradition of thumping, hormonal rock 'n' roll proud by simply embracing its most appealing traits and presenting them with fresh enthusiasm.

JamBase | Misty Mountain
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[Published on: 10/27/09]

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