Album review – Rival Sons – Hollow Bones
By DAVID COOPER
Firstly, I must confess that when I was assigned Hollow Bones to review I was not familiar with Californian quartet Rival Sons so therefore was coming in with a completely open slate with no expectations. After doing some research (thanks Google) I established that rock icons such as Ozzy, Henry Rollins and Jimmy Page are falling over themselves to sing the bands praises so it must be said that an awfully large rock must have engulfed my surroundings since 2009 when the band first formed.
There is no warming up period as Rival Sons immediately kick into a bluesy riff with “Hollow Bones, Part 1” which leaves little doubt that this 37 minute album is going to be one hell of a ride. There is something strangely satisfying when lead vocalist Jay Buchanan takes you on a journey with “Tied Up” and as the chorus kicks in you could imagine audiences loving the sing a long component at a live show.
“Thundering Voices” is a true standout for me on this album with Scott Holiday’s raunchy guitar riffs taking you to a place you just want to be (think Jack White – Icky Thump). Buchanan’s vocals scream intensity whilst the rhythm provided by Mike Moley (drums) and Dave Beste (bass) cannot be underestimated.
It is quite easy to pick up on the band’s influences on this album from Sabbath to Zeppelin, and even The Raconteurs. Tracks such as “Baby Boy”, “Pretty
“Face” and “Fade Out” seem to draw inspiration from the late Jeff Buckley with Buchanan channelling his inner demon and effortlessly taking the audience on a magical ride that would be incredible to see live. “Black Coffee”, a song originally written by Sonny Burke and Paul Francis Webster in 1948 stands the test of time and its bluesy melody is the ideal cover for a band of this genre to cover.
“Hollow Bones Part 2” kicks the album back up a notch and seems like the ideal choice to be played around a camp fire whilst relaxing and enjoying a few beverages of the alcoholic variety. Rival Sons allow the audience to settle back and reminisce about the journey they have just taken us on with the final track All that I want concluding this brilliant piece album. For someone that has only just jumped on the Rival Sons hurricane, I couldn’t be more impressed with the swirling hooks and sing along quality of these new songs.