It hasn't been a bad year for LA upstarts Rival Sons, in the year of their label début these guys have, amongst other milestones, been one of the highlights at High Voltage Festival and been opening act on the UK tour of some little known metal band by the name of Judas Priest!! The heights that these guys have reached already are meteoric to say the least, and they have arguably become one of the biggest and best forces in the new Traditonal Metal revival with their blues fueled Led Zeppelin influenced brand of rock 'n' roll. Oh and their album Pressure And Time is an absolute corker.
Arguably filling a void and curing an itch that Led Zep used to do, it isn't right to be comparing the two bands quite yet, with Led Zep's legacy almost unparalleled, but they are also the first name that comes to mind when looking at Rival Son's influences; singer Jay Buchanan also at times brings to mind Jack White and The White Stripes, but don't hold it against him. This is one of those rare trad revival albums that manages to sound fresh despite the well known influences, and also sounds immediately timeless.
What it really has going for it is how many instantly great songs are on here, so many immediate anthems that will have you tapping your feet and nodding your head like a freak in seconds. Seriously listen to anything from 'All Over The Road' 'Pressure And Time' 'Gypsy Heart' 'Save Me' and 'Only One', if you don't have a smile on your face then I'd recommend you check you still have a pulse. Come summertime this record should be blaring from your speakers once again, it is such a fun album tailor made for the good times.
Listen To: All Over The Road, Pressure And Time, Only One
No.10- Letlive.-Fake History
Arguably a controversial choice in the 2011 countdown as technically Fake History was released in 2010, but only got a UK release early 2011, so in my opinion still counts, so there, nurgh (very mature Chris, a career in the big publications obviously awaits). Besides this album is such a great album that it very much deserves to be recognised. With such an insane and unpredictable live show almost becoming legendary, Letlive have had quite a buzz surrounding them this year with the UK's first real opportunity to see what all the fuss is about these guys, their shows have been getting rave reviews, and with the addition of this collection of songs to their name, it's not a surprise.
Letlive's brand of post hardcore seems particularly chaotic and confusing whilst at the same time very accessible. Some parts will challenge the untrained listener whilst others will latch on to their sporadic use of cleaner passages and catchy choruses such as on 'Casino Columbus'. Jason Butler's vocal performance is show stealing, showing at full force the chaotic energy of this band, going from ferocious harsh shrieking growls to forceful clean singing. The music as well is full of hooks and unpredictability, often throwing a curve ball as to what is coming next, yet still maintaining the craft of song writing throughout.
These guys have been on the lips of many people this year, through live shows that have almost gone into folklore for their chaotic nature, to even just how nice the band are to talk to, and of course Fake History is an album very worthy of great stature.
Listen To: Renegade '86, Casino Columbus, Homeless Jazz