Despite their relatively short time of existence, British rock-duo When Rivers Meet has made a huge contribution to blues rock in general. With their seeds sowed back in 2016, as revealed in this interview, they released two EPs in 2019 and 2020, followed by the acclaimed We Fly Free (2020). After all the hurdles imposed by the pandemic, they headed to social media with live shows and now they are releasing their sophomore full album called Saving Grace.
Starting with the electric “I Can’t Fight This Feeling”, its uncertain rhythm undoubtedly brings fresh air to blues rock, incorporating innovative elements that go far beyond just electrifying the blues. It features unusual chord sequences, complimented by Grace’s velvet vocals. With an exciting chorus, the duo delivers much more than a simple song in “Never Coming Home”. They keep exploring new sounds and approaches, mainly through slides, keys, and violin solos. “He’ll Drive You Crazy” starts with stuffy vocal and cigar box lines which suddenly are filled by the imposing full band so that the song becomes a huge rock tune.
Momentarily stepping on brakes, “Don’t Tell Me Goodbye” reveals a more intimate side of the couple. It’s an acoustic track where Aaron’s voice, which so far was kept in the background, now assumes the front line beside Grace’s. Back to the rock side, “Do You Remember My Name”, despite its simplicity is a nice rock tune. “Have No Doubt About It” has a lyric tone, emphasized by its calmed-down pace and violin lines. At its end, Aaron also takes control, leading a breathtaking conclusion to the song.
In “Eye Of A Hurricane (Friend Of Mine Pt. 2)”, as occurred in other previous tracks, they smartly explore the drums and the ambient reverberation, turning the song into a canon perpetuated in the chorus. As the title suggests, this song is a continuation of the homonymous song part of the previous album. “Testify” was released in September as a single, reaching more than 25K Youtube views in a quite short period of time. This song also relies on the simplicity of rock music, proving that a well-performed tune can easily take the place of complex things. The power of slide & drums are tested again in “Shoot The Breeze”, this time ornamented by some fuzzy tunes.
Beyond the beauty and precise tuning of Grace’s voice, its range is very well explored in “Lost And Found”. This exciting song counts with a nice bass solo as well. Back to acoustics, “Talking In My Sleep” shows the versatility of the band, able to easily turn from a high-level rock song to a calm and relaxing ballad. Closing the album, they turn back on the distorted tune with “Make A Grown Man Cry”.
When Rivers Meet has proven to bring a new blues rock appeal that is rocking the scene, effectively contributing to the lifting of the genre all over the UK and continental Europe as well. Saving Grace is an outstanding album that keeps the band at the gold standard of the current blues rock scene.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– I Can’t Fight This Feeling
– Have No Doubt About It
– Eye Of A Hurricane (Friend Of Mine Pt. 2)
– Lost And Found
The Big Hit
– Have No Doubt About It