Rival Sons: Head Down Review

Remember putting the needle down on Led Zeppelin I fresh off the record and hearing that first riff?  Sure as anything you recall the moment.  Rival Sons’ third studio album, Head Down, captures just that essence.  From the first lick, these L.A. boys hit you hard and don’t let up until they’re through.  They come out of the gates with a bang and then mellow out every so often, to give the faint of heart a slight siesta, if you will.  With Steve Miller swag and Robert Plant range, Jay Buchanan can belt it out with the best of them, accompanied by rhythms reminiscent of Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, this band stacks up amongst good company.

With screeching highs, and suave, soothing lows, Rival Sons entwine modern garage rock with a bluesy zest.  Head Down opens with five high-octane tracks, enough gusto to get your mom banging on the ceiling below in no time.  And that’s just a taste.  In “Keep on Swinging” and “You Want To,” Buchanan’s vocal range shines, as he belts out a scorching wail, then cools you down with a mellow moan.  The soul-driven lyrics give depth and emotion to the tracks, as you can feel the passion pouring out of each line.  This ammunition is first and foremost in the success of any band, and Rival Sons came with the guns loaded.

The band takes it down a notch with numbers, “Jordan” and “The Heist,” only to pick it back up again on “Three Fingers.”  The two part “Manifest Destiny” delves into a bit of history, with a little extra flare.  As with history, these tracks run deep, extra long cuts with bluesy solos and an echoing flanger throughout.  “The Heist” recalls a ‘50’s vocal styling that would make Sinatra proud.  So come fly with me, and expand your musical horizons, as this record takes modern rock to new heights.

The Rival Sons have punctured the eardrums of many, now how about yours?  Head Down will string you along for one hell of a ride.  So have a listen.  Your ears deserve a treat.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Keep on Swinging
– Wild Animal
– You Want To
– Until the Sun Comes
– Run from Revelation
– Three Fingers

The Big Hit

– You Want To

Review by Don Tice

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

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