Fresh off their tour with Hard Rock Legends “Black Sabbath” I decided to review Rival Sons 2016 release and latest album Hollow Bones.
Rival Sons “Hollow Bones” kicks into action with the self titled album track Hollow Bones Pt.1 with a bang. A thunderous snappy riff, and deafening yet funky drum line kick off the album leaving the listener blown away and begging for the album to never end within the first 30 seconds.
The first notable instrumentation would have to be Scott Holiday’s use of the baritone guitar within the album. This, accompanied by the sheer power of Michael Miley’s amazing drumming and Dave Beste’s tight bass work makes for the sound of the album reminiscent to 60’s and 70’s hard rock legends of yesteryear whilst Jay Buchanan’s vocals are something else to behold. The ascending vocal line in ‘Hollow bones pt.1’ alone sets the tone for the rest of the album and shows off the raw vocal talent Rival Sons possess.
Hollow Bones is different to most Rock albums, sure it may posses some of the standard tropes used within rock i.e fuzzed guitar, wailing vocals and a heavy rhythm section but one can also hear influence from Blues, Psychedelia and funk. These varied influences are heard throughout the album keeping the album fresh and interesting still after many listens. From the powerful dynamics of ‘Fade Out’, a soulful yet deafening song which combines the roaring power of the band with gentle yet graceful dynamics to the sheer awesome rendition of ‘Black Coffee’, originally written in 1938 by Sonny Burke and has seen many an artist cover this Blues classic, but none like Rival Sons, who really managed to make it their own and put their signature sound into it.
‘Tied up’ begins with a huge drum fill into a big classic sounding, no-nonsense main riff. This is a huge track. The riff blows the listener away before coming back down dynamically for the verse and delivering that signature Rival Sons trademark sound before finishing with a cool blues ending.
Rival Sons show their softer side on the closing track on the album. “All That I Want”, is a beautiful, delicate love song accompanied with stunning, poetic lyrics.
“If you could feel my heartache
Each time you walk away
You would never leave
And I would never ask you to stay”
Contrary to the rest of the album, the track starts with a beautiful soft arpeggiated guitar riff alongside the vocals and tastefully escalates with the rhythm section, coming in later alongside an uncomplicated violin line. This rounds the album off in a delicate manner boasting Rival Sons more than capable writing skills. making for a softly dramatic end to Hollow Bones.
To conclude, Rival Sons are an incredible band and phenomenal musicians throughout. If I was to round this album off in a few words it would just be any synonym for ‘huge’. Just massive sounding, gargantuan, colossal, mammoth, magnificent sounding instrumentation from start to finish.
9/10, definitely listen.
Stand out tracks:
Hollow Bones Pt.2
All that I want
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