Rival Sons

Pitched somewhere between the loose revivalism of Jack White and the groove of Alabama Shakes, Rival Sons possess a chimera-like character: a jazz -trained rhythm section that met at Isaac Hayes' house, a garage-rock fuzzadelic guitar maestro, and a Blues rooted street singer with the powerful raw delivery of rock and the sensitivity of a Laurel Canyon trip.
Though rooted in the past Rival Sons play with awareness and modernity like they're calling on inspiration through their roots anew, filtering out more of rock's overblown past and bringing in call-and-response testaments to truth - In their own words, they "want to give the people the rock and roll they deserve by keeping it honest, visceral, and dangerous".
Rival Sons' 2012 3rd album Head Down scuzzy "blues-rock invades Motown's backbeat to startling effect", displaying a range of skill from the eerily insightful Jordan to the breathy summer pop stylings of Until The Sun Comes or Wild Animal, and setting the whole thing aflame with the sprawling psychedelic guitar freakout Manifest Destiny Pt.1. All of this emphasizing how American roots music is now grounded in the 60's notion of blues and soul.
That's not to say Rival Sons ignore the straight stuff, drummer Miley "channels John Bonham's brute force &Tommy Lee's restless energy" much of Head Down is anchored in fuzzy guitars and soul groove spliced from The Small Faces and The Animals - Rival Sons don't mess about, but they're not purists, they're modern – they splice familiar sounds and forms together but mix them up with the secret ingredient of song-writing skill, that balances story-telling with Scott Holiday's pugnacious guitar and the beauty of Jay Buchanan's voice in an explosive reminder that "soul is the key".
Fizzing with freshness, Head Down honours half a century of classic rock with reverence, respect and the realisation that this music's still happening, right now. – BBC
Introducing the band in the words of singer Jay Buchanan:
"[Bassist] Robin is an accomplished jazz player, and the guy loves Motown and listens to rap a little too much for my liking. [Drummer] Miley also has deep roots in jazz and Latin percussion as well as rock, and he shares the same birthday as Keith Moon. He'll be the first to tell you that he listens to Steely Dan a little too much for my liking. [Guitarist] Scott is highly influenced by Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, and Keith Richards, and he talks about ninjas and muscle cars a little too much for my liking. I whine and complain into a microphone for a living, and I talk to myself a little too much for my liking."
Like Jack White or The Black Keys, Rival Sons see the creative process as a snapshot, only spending less than a month in the studio for each album; writing and recording all live under one roof to keep the process raw. The band bear no special allegiance to the didactic needs of retro-rock, their roots are just that, grounding from which they launch using the creative chemistry and the schooling they all possess to create in the moment, capturing a live feel that thrills and delights in often quite unexpected and exciting ways. Witnessing what a band in tune with each other is really like and knowing that what you hear on record as a 1st or 2nd take still comes second to the electric performance you will see on stage.Rival Sons is a raucous, maximum-blues-infused, hard rock band
, who explode with the rhythm and roughness of some of the greatest rock acts of all time. From a self-released full-length album (Before the Fire) and EP (self-titled), to the strength of their live performances, the band gains major attention everywhere they play. Recent accolades include a stint opening up for legends like AC/DC and Alice Cooper, several USO shows with Kid Rock, and a televised performance, center track, in the pit, at The Indianapolis 500, the world's largest sporting event. The Huffington Post even dubbed Rival Sons as "one of the top 5 bands to watch" during 2010's CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.
Despite the achievements and rabid following, Rival Sons have already attained on their own accord, any member of the band will say creating quality music and leaving a lasting impression is what matters most. Lead Vocalist Jay Buchanan, guitarist Scott Holiday, bassist Robin Everhart, and drummer Mike Miley, pride themselves on being the sum of their parts. They were brought together by a love of music, both common and uncommon influences. More importantly, they came together to bring the current state of rock and roll back to it's finest elements (see opening statement). Their artistic chemistry is true. In their own words, they "want to give the people the rock and roll they deserve by keeping it honest, visceral, and dangerous".
It's that heart, the independent and fighting spirit of Rival Sons, which brought the band to Earache Records fall of 2010. "There was just the right amount of audacity and bending of the rules for us to dig the idea of being on a [traditionally] death metal label." Says guitarist, Scott Holiday.
Rival Sons' full length Earache debut, recorded in Los Angeles, was released worldwide in May 2011. On this record, the band committed themselves to creating an experience that closely matches the attitude and excitement of one of their live performances. Right off of a 4 week stint on the road, Rival Sons wrote, recorded, and mixed the album in just 20 days; this ensures a rawness for both the listener and the band. Explains frontman, Jay Buchanan, "in the code of the Samurai, any decision must be made between 3 and 5 breaths … Writing by that code forces us to act, go with our instincts and really, truly listen to each other. Creatively, you're bringing your most immediate instincts." This method of writing, is not new to Rival Sons.
Proven fruitful, this method was originally used while creating Before The Fire. As Holiday puts it, "This is just the simplest way to not cheat ourselves or the listener. Rock and Roll can't be over-thought, and if it is, it loses it's immediacy and instinct … it needs to be a knife fight, not a knife dance."
The 'Pressure and Time' album immediately lit the fuse that sent Rival Sons into overdrive. Not only did the album gain rave reviews, but the subsequent live work from the band made sure that fans were left in no doubt as the authenticity of the music, and the passion with which the band played the songs on stage. Playing prestigious festivals like Sonisphere, T in the Park, Werchter and Arras, the band were also as at home supporting metal legends Judas Priest as they were playing headline dates. The record quickly charted in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and beyond, and by the time Rival Sons embarked on their first full length headline tour of Europe in November 2011 the band had sold out every UK show as well as gigs across the continent. The band also made their debut live TV appearances in Germany and America, and found time to appear live at the annual Classic Rock Awards, where they performed a magical acoustic set to the assembled dignitaries.
At the end of 2011, Rival Sons were voted 'Best New Band' by listeners of Planet Rock radio, and found 'Pressure and Time' voted No.2 Album of the Year by Classic Rock Magazine. The band will record a brand new album in Nashville in February 2012, followed by a 14 date UK tour with Black Stone Cherry.
Groove, soul, swagger and danger are the ethos by which the Rival Sons live and breathe. They claim to have sworn an oath to keep the process and their performance to nothing less than honest. Their music sums up a time when Rock made more than a "viral buzz". Rival Sons harken back to when the thrill of rock and roll truly made a difference … And that time has been resurrected.

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