Rival Sons - Feral Roots
Review by Dom Vigil
Since their inception, Rival Sons have been heralded as one of America’s next great rock’n’roll bands, and their latest release, Feral Roots simply backs those claims. With gritty guitar work and and a fuzziness that sounds like it stepped directly out of the 60’s or 70’s, coupled with vocalist Jay Buchanan’s soulful voice and a modern edge that’ll set them apart from the pack, Rival Sons further cement their place in the rock world with this album.
Explosive, soulful and foot-stomping, “Do Your Worst” is the perfect opening track, giving listeners a taste of what to expect from Feral Roots. While the song kicks off with fuzzy guitar leading the charge, it quickly gives way to a catchy chorus lead by gang vocals. It then transitions perfectly into “Sugar on the Bone,” which shines both vocally and sonically, the electric, gritty guitar work setting the tone for the songs that follow.
And just when you think Feral Roots can’t get more exciting, it does. “Back in the Woods” is utterly explosive, opening with wild, chaotic drums and driven forward with a strong rhythm section and soulful vocals. This intense track then contrasts wonderfully with the slower “Feral Roots,” which will give you a break from the chaos of the first few songs with beautiful acoustic guitar and a stunning vocal performance.
In fact, he entire band puts on one hell of a performance throughout Feral Roots. The album feels like watching a live show. It’s filled to the brim with energy, soul and diverse sounds that’ll keep you on your toes from start to finish. Each and every song hits hard, whether it’s the darker “Too Bad” beautiful “All Directions” or massive “End Of Forever.” Easily one of the most powerful songs on the album, though, is the closing track, “Shooting Stars,” which hits home with the line, “My love is stronger than your hate will ever be.”
Feral Roots simply checks every box. This timeless album could have easily been released in the 60’s or 70’s, but also has a modern edge that makes it feel fresh in 2018. Instrumentally, Rival Sons don’t hold back, vocally, Buchanan puts on the performance of a lifetime and lyrically, there’s something to take away from each track. There isn’t a single moment on the album that feels redundant, safe or out of place. Instead, Feral Roots is an exciting and captivating listen from start to finish - it’s something you’ll have on repeat for months to come.
LISTEN TO: “Back in the Woods,” “Do Your Worst” or “Shooting Stars”
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