Kris Barras Band: Kris Barras Band Review

Kris Barras Band is the eponymous debut from UK rocker Kris Barras and supporting musicians, bassist Ricky Mitchell and drummer Jon Perrin. The album opens with the track “Never Too Late,” introducing the listener to Barras’ mellow, yet raspy, vocals. The track is accompanied by inspired, acrobatic fingering, giving the track a classic, rocking sound before closing with a clear, echoing solo. Barras’ vocals evolve on the next track, “In Too Deep” giving the song a roadhouse Bon Jovi edge. The guitar work on this track is bluesy at its roots with a strong vibrato accentuating the melodic solo.

Barras complicates things in a welcome way on the track “Watching Over Me” with a lamenting intro; a sad progression with just a touch of optimistic twinkle. Quiet, purposeful strumming supports a voice that is both full and broken, as if weathered by the broken halves of a jagged heartbreak, ending the track with a tableau of silent devastation. The following track “Rocky Road” is both bouncy and rugged and ends with a prodigious solo, the guitar itself singing with biting notes and an edged glide.

Barras’ supporting musicians take a more centric role in the track “Rise” beginning with the fast, snappy drum intro overlaying more brilliantly harmonious guitar. The latter half of the song finished with a full, reverberatory, and heart-welling solo that recapitulates Barras’ instrumental mastery. “It Is What It Is” evokes Jimi Hendrix with an ascending string line reminiscent of “Little Wing” and pioneers new sounds with its elongated solo before coming full-circle with an outro that echoes the song’s intro. “I Don’t Want the Blues” is a taut scorcher of a jam with a fun groove and uplifting string line and the concluding track, “Crank Up,” closes the album with a furthering of Barras’ flawless technique and leaves the listener with a bit of a screech, and one hell of an earworm.

An impressive opus from a clearly talented set of musicians, this reviewer is desperately hoping for the sake of music that Kris Barras Band is a harbinger of more guitar-centric, technically-savvy blues rock to come.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Never Too Late
– Watching Over Me
– Rocky Road
– It Is What It Is

The Big Hit

– Watching Over Me

Review by McKinnie Sizemore

Buy the album: Amazon

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