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| 12 November 2020 | Reply

Label: Mascot Records

Release Date: October 30, 2020

Rating: 96%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

If you know, you know… Black Stone Cherry is one of the best rock bands out there doing their thing theses days.  From selling out show after show on tours that seem to run forever and releasing discs that raise the bar each time out, Chris, Ben, John Fred, and Jon are one of the most consistent bands in my opinion.  Disc opener “Ringin’ In My Head” sets the bar and pace for the disc… and to think, these guys have actually been sitting on this track.  The cadence is solid, the swirl of instruments builds the song up, and this is one of the more contagious lyrics on the disc, perfectly delivered by Chris.  This song has an immediate draw due to its lyric and the current world situation.  “Again” brings that solid bottom end from John Fred Young and Jon Lawhon to anchor the track and keep the tempo in check when Robertson’s vocals and Ben’s guitars create an urgency and he song builds, as if preparing for take off.  This songs couples with the opener to create a killer one-two punch to kick start the 13-track collection.  “When Angels Learn To Fly” is a song I find myself coming back to with each play through of the disc.  The guitar sound on this track is amazing and the perfect counter to the vocals.  This groove of this track is anchored by John Fred Young’s hard hitting drums that give this song a great foundation underneath all of the guitar interludes and vocals.  “In Love With The Pain” brings a sonic twist on the bands sound to the disc.  The song sounds and feels different while also sounding familiarly like it belongs on a Black Stone Cherry disc.  The familiar guitars (especially the solo on the bridge), vocals and dialed in bottom end keep the track in line while the overall vibe takes us to another place.  “Ride” is a guitar dream – the opening riff has 80’s rock all over it.  The chugging dual riffs, with added pings and squeals fill the speakers through the intro and soon Young’s heavy handed drumming fuels the fire that is further incensed by the thumping bass lines and rock solid vocals.  “Don’t Bring Me Down” is a killer cover of the ELO track.  This version takes the original and simply sprinkles the BSC magic over top.  While the solo at the bridge takes a turn form the original, this is a great representation of the classic with the bands spin light dabbed across the top.  Disc closer “Keep On Keepin’ On” is a feel good rocker that gets the foot tapping… before one of the most contagious choruses kicks in.  This song has to be included when the band resumes touring – this song was built for the stage and a live audience… I dare a crowd to not lose their shit when this one comes on – talk about saving the best for last.  This one MAKES you play the disc over again from the beginning just to build to this track again.

“Push Down & Turn” has a slightly different sound and vibe woven into it as the song winds through the intro and into the vocals.  Chris tosses his voice overtop the musical fray and we are off and running on another BSC track that is bound to be a crowd pleaser in a live situation.  The slightly different texture of the track gives the disc some depth as it helps build on the different sounds the quartet brings to the table.  “Live This Way” is a chugging rocker that gives each of the four room to run on their individual instruments, but especially Jon Lawhon, who’s bass parts seem to be dialed up in the mix and help the chugging rhythm come to life.  The swirl of guitars and vocal in the mix build on the bands sound, especially with the fretboard pieces that are inserted at transition moments and on the bridge – and be sure hang out for one of the best solos on the disc.  “The Chain” is a cool tune with a different vibe woven into the track.  The guitar sound has a cool sound that seems to blend the known with new, creating a slightly different sound that meshes well with the bands catalog.  This one also benefits from a gravel-filled vocal that seems raspier than normal (and its damn good).  “If My Heart Had Wings” is an amazing ballad that hits to the soul of anyone that had a love go wrong.  Robertson’s vocals are delivered with grit and emotion that adds to the songs charm.  The guitar nuances in the track add to the song while the bottom end keeps the song moving without holding it back.  This one will get a ton of spins on my player as time passes… I cannot get enough of the vocals, the guitar solo, and the overall sentiment of the track.  “Some Stories” is a great track that ties the different vibes and sonic pieces of the rest of the disc together.  The vocals are spot on, the guitars tight, and the rhythm section solid.  This song ebbs and flows through the verses and chorus, but seems to swell at the bridge and builds through the final chugging riffs.  “The Devil In Your Eyes” comes at you from left field at first, but soon pulls into the rock lane carved by the rest of the disc.  This song has a great rock vibe wrapped around a slight ballad-like groove.  The song is tight from open to close and keeps the disc on track while showing off a slightly different side of the band.

Tracklisting: Ringin’ In My Head – Again – Push Down & Turn – When Angels Learn To Fly – Live This Way – In Love With The Pain – The Chain – Ride – If My Heart Had Wings – Don’t Bring Me Down – Some Stories – The Devil In Your Eyes – Keep On Keepin’ On






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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