metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk

  RIVAL SONS
'Great Western Valkyrie'
(Earache)
Release Date: June 9th 2014


Tony Conley

tony conley



rival sons

Rival Sons continue to mine gold on 'Great Western Valkyrie', their fifth long player with producer Dave Cobb, making meaningful rock in the heart of a country music wasteland called Nashville.

To review this record, I attempted to time travel in my mind, back to 1970, where I imagine placing Rival Sons right in the middle of The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Free, to see how they would have fared. These seem to be the points I see struck by most writers, so I figure those are the glasses I'll put on to look into the distant past to see how the present stands up.

Jay Buchanan and Scott Holiday may be using a template from the past, but they're writing their own story within that context, and while I don't get a sense of genius, I do acknowledge that this is a great band who do what's near and dear to their hearts, and really, that's the gig.

Article continues below...


iron maiden


Dave Cobb's presence is again huge, and I agree with one of Rival Sons' biggest fans, Glenn Hughes, he of California Breed, who just got the Cobb treatment on their excellent debut platter. Cobb understands drum sounds, he knows that with a single guitarist in a trio you need some condiments and side dishes, and he makes sure that a singer isn't stitched into a single sound for an entire record - in other words, he earns his pay as a producer, taking this knowledge and laying it out on glorious two inch tape. They've just made a great record.

I love a band with no weak links, and Rival Sons are one such band - everyone pulls their weight, and the rhythm section of bassist Dave Beste and drummer Michael Miley fill every tune on this record with great twists and turns, Miley playing fills that make me smile and think Moon, while Beste adds melodic flourishes that would make Jack Bruce grin from ear to ear.

You've got to love a band and an album that saves the best cut for last in these instant gratification, I'm too f'n lazy to listen to an album, EP infected days, but let's take a step back and check out the songs.

Electric Man busts out with big rick swagger, and very Plant-like vocal from Jay Buchanan as Holiday whips out a fuzz fried riff the cuffs like a chainsaw while a shaker fueled freight train rhythm moves things along nicely. In the hands of a lesser band this tune would wilt, but Rival Sons milk every moment and never cruise or coast when they can fly. Whoever sequenced this record got it right - this is a great place to start.

rival sons

Scott Holiday takes us back to the sixties with his tremolo soaked dance riff that announces 'Good Luck', and Jay Buchanan nods his hat in the direction of classic Eric Burdon before Holiday takes the reigns back to throw down a very unconventional solo that fits perfectly - he could have went down the road of pentatonic wankery, but he opts for a fun filled bit of sonic madness.

Remember The Amboy Dukes? That was Ted Nugent's psychedelic metal band of the late sixties, and I'll be damned if the Sons don't nail their vibe on Secret - old Ted was extremely cool when he hung out with druggies, and this is a joy, as well. Beste plays some incredible bass and Miley tours the toms like they did when drummers still knew Krupa - this guy swings while he beats the hell out of the tubs, and that's how it should be, it takes routine rock and makes it great. Buchanan gets better as a vocalist with each album, and we remember why it was so important for labels to let bands develop their sounds - Rival Sons are hitting their stride, and it's pretty glorious.

'Play The Fool' is great crotch rock - a big bluesy riff fed through fuzz pedals and big tube amps - don't buy the lie, big rock requires big amps and the balls to play loud. Turn this up, and dig it. I'm going to continue quoting references from the past and throw out the band Spirit on this one - when the chorus arrives it's melodic and takes the tune from blues rock to classic melody, and you get a full meal and not just an appetizer. Hey Spirit's in the news what with finally getting around to suing Zep for copping the Stairway riff, so this ain't far off base at all.

The band slows it down a bit for 'Good Things', and some silken organ pads make this one rather cinematic - this is a soundtrack for a movie not yet made, but Holiday's tasty fills make this something special, as Buchanan again raises the bar for modern rock vocalists. He covers a lot of ground, and he uses his phrasing and expert sense of dynamics to tell the tale that keeps you rapt and listening. Another unconventional guitar solo by a blessed noise maker keeps the smile on my face.

I'll admit that I've been slow to get on the Rival Sons' bus, but I get it now, and this will most likely end up on the dreaded top ten lists in January.

'Open My Eyes' opens with perhaps a bit too much of a Zep nod, but I'll forgive that as the rhythm section takes this one from dinosaur stomp to a folk inflected rocker. Acoustic guitars and flanged cymbals sweeten things up, and when the fuzz riffs return they're all the more welcome. This bunch never cruises, like I said, and that makes all the difference in the world - in a time when fake, lame drum tracks pass for music and static synths stand in for real arrangements, this music is revelatory.

Buchanan ups the ante with the epic 'Rich And The Poor', an instant classic with one of the best refrains we'll hear this year. I'll leave it to you to seek it out, but you'll dig it - this guy sounds like Morrison with chops on this, and it places him among the giants.

How often does an album get better and better in these times - we're generally hit with the best right off the bat, and the inevitable slow down transpires. Not this time - 'Great Western Valkyrie' gets better with every turn and 'Belle Star' suggests a mashup of The Who and Zeppelin in a most beautiful way. Melody, goddammit, melody - that's what singers have lost, and that's where Buchanan keeps impressing me more and more. Holiday's guitar orchestrations are exemplary and I'm smiling all the way.

Gentle acoustics ring in Where I've Been, and the enters the realm of some bad company. Perfect drums sounds are rare, and Cobb nails it on this ballad - the drums are crisp, full of tone, and musical. Producers, please take note, please. Holiday plays a sumptuous, beautiful solo that fits the song like a glove, and I wonder how so many manage not to get it right. Taste is the key here, and everyone is wearing it on their sleeves.

'Destination On Course' is the closer, and it's one of the best tracks I've heard in eons. Buchanan uses a pristine falsetto that tugs heart strings, and Holiday weaves a tapestry of tone that makes him a new master. These guys are making music - they're not just laying down the next track, they go through no motions, and they never stop listening to one another.

The vocal arrangement here is stunning, and when Holiday goes into his detective novel of a solo, the rhythm section percolates just under boiling, and the key to rock greatness is revealed. Then there's the big instrumental/vocal breakdown, and it's off into the stratosphere of the gods. Maybe the best song I've heard this year.

There you have it - go get it. Pay for this record, pay these guys, it's important. Rock Ain't Near Dead, and I'll be damned if Rival Sons have not proven it mightily with 'Great Western Valkyrie'. Buy it.


beer beer beerbeerbeer


27.5.14









iron maiden



 

rainbow BREAKING NEWS: RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO BUILD A TOWER OF STONE AT STONE FREE: UK TOUR DATES HERE
Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow will be the headline act for the 2017 Stone Free Festival...

elbrano EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: ELBRANO UNVEIL 'EUPHORIA WARRIOR' ON MetalTalk
It's catchy and upbeat progressive rock with a big edge and it's pretty diverse too...

guns n roses BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES EUROPEAN DATES ARE HERE: RETURN TICKET TO STRATFORD FOR AXL
The nightrain is heading for the London Stadium on Friday June 16th 2017 when Guns N' Roses hit town...

hrh nwobhm RAVEN AND DIAMOND HEAD TO PLAY HRH NWOBHM 2017 - FULL LINE-UP IS HERE
"HRH are proud to announce that HRH NWOBHM will make its thunderous, triumphant return in 2017..."

gojira GOJIRA MARCH 2017 HEADLINE TOUR DATES ARE HERE
The band's latest album, 'Magma', is already notching up number one positions in the 2016 end of year Top Album polls...

xandria WORLD PREMIERE: XANDRIA UNLEASH FIRST TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM ON MetalTalk
The band around charismatic Dianne van Giersbergen unleashes the very first music video from 'Theater Of Dimensions'...

blaze bayley WORLD PREMIERE: BLAZE BAYLEY RELEASES BRAND NEW CHRISTMAS SONG AND VIDEO, 'CRAZY CHRISTMAS'
Blaze Bayley has released a brand new Christmas song and the video is premiering here on MetalTalk today...

marillion WAS BREAKING NEWS: ZZ TOP TO HEADLINE RAMBLIN' MAN 2017
"Without a further a do here are the first acts we can proudly announce for Ramblin' Man Fair 2017!!"

marillion WAS BREAKING NEWS: DEEP PURPLE 2017 UK TOUR DATES ARE HERE
Tickets have started to go on sale already right here.

matt starr ACE FREHLEY AND MR BIG DRUMMER MATT STARR RELEASES 'MUST-SEE' DVD
"Educating and empowering other musicians around the world is something very important to us both..."

hereza STATUS QUO CONFIRM LAST OF THE ELECTRICS TOUR WILL CONTINUE INTO 2017
"The tour will run alongside a series of Aquostic shows already planned for 2017..."

hereza UK PREMIERE: HEREZA LAUNCH SECOND MUSIC VIDEO FROM 'I BECOME DEATH'
Croatian death-punk duo HerezA are making waves around Europe and when you see this, you'll know exactly why...

status quo UK EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO KEEP ROCKIN' ON: DATES WITH ZZ TOP PLUS 2018 GIG ANNOUNCED
According to RP Online, tickets will be available from Thursday 1st December at 10:00am...

ted nugent TED NUGENT CELEBRATES FIDEL CASTRO'S DEATH
"I'm giddy the son of a bitch is dead. It's time to celebrate..."

unleash the archers WORLD PREMIERE: UNLEASH THE ARCHERS UNVEIL THIRD AND FINAL VIDEO FROM 'TIME STANDS STILL'
"We are so excited to finally share this video with everyone! It's our thank you to all the fans we've met and made on our first European tour..."

marillion WAS BREAKING NEWS: MARILLION TO PLAY THEIR FIRST EVER SHOW AT ROYAL ALBERT HALL
"Conscious of the venue's history and having seen one or two first-rate shows there myself, we will make a show worthy of this hallowed space."

deep purple DEEP PURPLE TO HEADLINE HELLFEST - FULL BILL IS HERE
Just as they did last year, Hellfest have announced the full bill in one hit and the 2017 line-up is varied and incredibly strong...

kiss WAS BREAKING NEWS: KISS 2017 UK TOUR DATES ARE HERE
We love Kiss because when their fans shout, they listen and take action...

stone sour STONE SOUR TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'COME WHAT(EVER) MAY' IS COMING: NEW VIDEO FOR 'ZZYZX RD' ACOUSTIC IS HERE
'Come What(ever) May: Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition' has been remastered and now includes an array of bonus material...

nightlord WORLD PREMIERE: NIGHTLORD RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'SIN EATER' - WATCH IT HERE
This is a pulsating and gripping track and you can see it for the very first time right here...

kiss WAS BREAKING NEWS: KISS 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES ARE HERE
This will be the first time the band have hit Europe since 2015s sold out festival and arena shows...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE TO RELEASE NEW STUDIO ALBUM, 'INFINITE', IN 2017
"This is primarily an instrumental band. I just climb on board and write it along."

manowar MANOWAR ADD EXTRA GERMAN DATE TO THE FINAL BATTLE WORLD TOUR
"Our German Army Of Immortals is faithfully devoted and strong in numbers. We had to give them an additional show to saturate their thirst for True Metal!"

queen QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT TO RELEASE 'LIVE IN JAPAN'
"When we saw the video, we thought that it was great and the interaction with the crowd was great."

def leppard DEF LEPPARD TELL FANS 'AND THERE WILL BE A NEXT TIME - LIVE FROM DETROIT'
"From the second the house lights went down, we could see the sun setting from the stage, and the energy from the crowd just seemed to intensify..."

donald trump MUNICIPAL WASTE ACCUSE DONALD TRUMP OF HACKING THEIR TWITTER ACCOUNT
Surprisingly the band are not deleting these posts and they are still there for all to see...

ghost GHOST UK AND EUROPE TOUR DATES ARE HERE
These dates mark the band's return to UK shores following their extremely special seated show last March...

absolva ABSOLVA CONFIRM RETURN TO THE STUDIO AND 2017 PLANS
"We see the new record as a mix of what we did with 'Anthems To The Dead' and 'Never A Good Day To Die'..."

marco mendoza MARCO MENDOZA TO RETURN TO THE UK IN FEBRUARY
Some new material will be offered up on the tour along with some of the greatest hits Marco has played...

saiichi sugiyami SAIICHI SUGIYAMI TO PLAY TWELVE DATE SPRING 2017 UK TOUR
'Melting Away' was one of Andy Fraser's last ever recordings and you can check it out right here...

accept ACCEPT RELEASE FIRST TRAILER FOR 'RESTLESS AND WILD LIVE' - WATCH HERE
'Restless And Live', will include the entire show Accept played at Bang Your Head Festival 2015...

paul shortino EXCLUSIVE: PAUL SHORTINO GIVES STELLAR CAREER PERSPECTIVE TO BE AIRED THIS MONDAY
Being introduced to Ronnie James Dio was a total life changer: "I felt like I was living in a dream."

billy sheehan BILLY SHEEHAN ISSUES DAVE LEE ROTH DENIAL
"I shared the post because it was about Sammy getting back in VH. I have since deleted it..."

saxon WAS BREAKING NEWS: SAXON TO HEADLINE STEELHOUSE WITH EXCLUSIVE 'EAGLE' PRODUCTION: INGLORIOUS ALSO ON THE BILL
"We're bringing the Eagle back to the mountain, so bring on the Heavy Metal thunder."

glenn hughes WAS BREAKING NEWS: GLENN HUGHES NEW UK/EUROPEAN TOUR DATES ARE HERE
"I am happy to announce my UK and European tour. My team have been hard at work to make this happen..."

nightlord NEW NIGHTLORD ALBUM IS ON THE WAY - DETAILS HERE
'Reborn In Darkness' features the first new Nightlord tracks since the band reformed in 2010...

van hagar WAS BREAKING NEWS: VAN HAGAR AND DAVE LEE ROTH'S EAT 'EM AND SMILE LINE-UPS TO REFORM
The members have refused to deny such a thing is happening. Instead Billy Sheehan cheekily re-tweeted the RothArmy article...

magnum WAS BREAKING NEWS: MAGNUM TO RELEASE 'THE VALLEY OF TEARS – THE BALLADS' ALBUM ON 6th JANUARY
"Magnum have so many beautiful quiet numbers, why don't you put together a compilation highlighting some of the most powerful tracks?"

elo JEFF LYNNE'S ELO ARE STEPPING OUT FOR SHEFFIELD ARENA SHOW
Presale for the Sheffield show starts on Wednesday and go on sale proper this Friday...

the king lot THE KING LOT/THE JOLLY BOYS AIM FOR CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE WITH TYKETTTO COVER FOR MS SCOTLAND
"As The MS Society is The Jolly Boys chosen charity for 2016, we wanted to do something that would raise the most money and awareness..."

sertraline SERTRALINE ARE TRYING TO MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY WITH SECOND EP
"This has been a long time coming! We're so grateful for everyone's support, thanks for sticking with us!"

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'CALIFORNIA JAM 1974' AND JON LORD 'GEMINI SUITE' NEWLY RESTORED AND ON THEIR WAY TO YOU
"It's big, it's grandiose, it's funky, it's rock... it's Mk III in all its glory."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS ARE COMING - FULLY PLUGGED AND FULLY LOADED
"We made this record with a full-on rock'n'roll show in mind..."

accept ACCEPT REVEAL 'RESTLESS AND WILD' FROM 'RESTLESS AND LIVE' - WATCH HERE
This package will include the entire show Accept played at Bang Your Head Festival 2015...

overkill OVERKILL TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM, 'THE GRINDING WHEEL', IN FEBRUARY
"Grinding on! Here we come again kids, strapped to the Grinding Wheel! Bang your head."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES SLOT FEATURES IN TOP ROCK THEMED GAMES
Gunners fans can now listen to their favourite band's music and win big prizes on the reels...

hard rock hell AIRBOURNE, Y&T, GUN, SYTERIA AND THE NEW ROSES TO ROCK HARD ROCK HELL 2017
2017 is going to be the biggest adventure yet! We're taking the HRH experience out to Australia, NZ and Singapore...

helloween KISKE AND HANSEN BACK IN HELLOWEEN: PUMPKINS UNITED WORLD TOUR 2017/18 IS OFFICIAL
Weikath, Kiske, Hansen, Grosskopf are going to play Helloween classics live and on a joint tour. Massive news. Awesome...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD 'WAKE THE DEAD' BOX-SET AND 'BAD MAGIC' SILVER VINYL AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW
The main cover image highlights one of Lemmy's rough-draft thumbnail sketches...

anthrax ANTHRAX ANNOUNCE 2017 UK HEADLINE TOUR
"Finally! We've been looking forward to headlining in the UK for so long!!! We have a killer set planned..."

devildriver DEVILDRIVER PREMIERE NEW VIDEO FOR 'TRUST NO ONE'
"The pit was giant for us and it was killer to see such a massive crowd participating in the madness!"

tyketto TYKETTO REACH OUT TO FANS ONCE AGAIN WITH RESCHEDLUED TOUR DATES
"Save a handful of venues, we will be hitting most of the same markets as we had planned for in November and December..."

aerosmith AEROSMITH 'AERO-VEDERCI BABY' FAREWELL TOUR DATES ARE HERE
"Aerosmith just got done ripping through South America like true ambassadors of rock... the band is unstoppable right now..."

death dealer HAS DONALD TRUMP ASSASSINATED DEATH DEALER?
"Shut the fuck up and play guitar, that's what matters, not your opinion..."

diablus in musica WORLD PREMIERE: DIABALUS IN MUSICA UNLEASH 'INVISIBLE' FROM 'DIRGE FROM THE ARCHONS'
Diabulus In Musica have an extraordinary ability to merge Metallic heaviness with symphonic catchiness...

kiss KISSCLUSIVE: KISS KRUISE VI - QUALITY VIDEO OF EXCLUSIVE SONGS INCLUDING A PREVIOUSLY UNHEARD PAUL STANLEY TRACK
"We are proud to be part of such a great, noble and worthy cause. Please support the Heavy Metal Helps The Heroes Campaign."

inglorious LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE INGLORIOUS 2016 COMMEMORATION T-SHIRT LAUNCHED
We're doing just one run of these to ensure that all Inglorious fans who purchase one have a limited edition exclusive collector's item...

roger waters ROGER WATERS ANNOUNCES 2017 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
"It will be a cool show, I promise you. It'll be spectacular like all my shows have been."

tom petty JEFF LYNNE, DON HENLEY AND FOO FIGHTERS HAVE NO SECOND THOUGHTS PERFORMING AT TOM PETTY MUSICARES AWARD
"I have so much respect for this organization, which really does care about the people in our industry..."

rhino edwards FOR STATUS QUO FANS: RHINO'S REVENGE ANNOUNCE NEW NEW NEW BATCH OF TOUR DATES
The tour is in support of the 'II' album which was released late last year...

grand magus WAS BREAKING NEWS: GRAND MAGUS ANNOUNCE UK/IRELAND TOUR DATES
"By Odin's beard! The Magus will be returning to the British isles for a headline tour with all that it entails in 2017..."

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES TWENTY BANDS FOR 2017
"For anyone that wants to discover and back new bands there is one place to be next June – Wildfire Festival..."

kiss KISSCLUSIVE: KISS REVIVE CLASSIC 'CREATURES OF THE NIGHT' SET ON KRUISE VI
The setlist was based around the 1982 'Creatures Of The Night' tour list but with some amazing surprises thrown in...

trivium TRIVIUM UNEARTH RARE DEMO AHEAD OF RE-RELEASE - LISTEN HERE
'The Storm' is a Trivium track of legend. It's been completely absent from the world for ages since it was only very briefly available on 'Caeruleus'...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE RELEASE BRAND NEW SINGLE/VIDEO, 'DON'T NEED YOU' - WATCH/LISTEN HERE
"We wanted it to look really grand and ornate, but underneath it all, it's a bit dirty."

bristol deathfest VADER AND IMMOLATION CONFIRMED FOR BRISTOL DEATHFEST
Bristol Deathfest is one of the must attend events for any fan of death Metal in the UK next year...

steelhouse festival STEELHOUSE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2017 SATURDAY HEADLINERS
"After the success of last year's event we are delighted to be pulling the kind of acts that will really maintain our upward trajectory!"

amon amarth AMON AMARTH TO HEADLINE BLOODSTOCK FRIDAY - TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Amon Amarth will headline the Friday night of Bloodstock 2017 in what is certain to be a very serious horn raising spectacular...

killit WORLD PREMIERE KILLIT UNVEIL 'AIN'T PLAYING YOUR GAME' VIDEO, LIVE AT THE UNDERWORLD
"There is no way to get any video to actually make people realise how it felt that night in The Underworld... but this is as close as it gets."

mick ralphs BAD COMPANY AND MOTT THE HOOPLE GUITARIST MICK RALPHS SUFFERS STROKE
"Mick is receiving excellent medical care and is recovering in hospital, although all his public engagements are necessarily on hold..."

meat loaf EXCLUSIVE ANDREW POLEC, 'BAT OUT OF HELL - THE MUSICAL' LEADING MAN: "EVERYTHING HAS LED TO THIS MOMENT"
"Considering there's a huge bike accident in this play and my life karmically changed because of my bike accident, I feel blessed."

tank WORLD PREMIERE TANK UNLEASH SUPERB NEW VIDEO FOR 'VALLEY OF TEARS'
"Not exactly ideal conditions when you've got a stinking hangover. Nothing we couldn't deal with though. Job done!"

ded daisies THE DEAD DAISIES UNLEASH SHORT MOVIE FOR 'A SONG AND A PRAYER'
"This song turned out to have a special vibe to it, very accessible, which is really cool. But the lyrics are rather dark..."

download DOWNLOAD 2017 HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED
Download mainman Andy Copping has established for himself a new status as the bravest promoter in the business...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY' PERFECTLY CAPTURES KNEBWORTH 1985 PERFORMANCE
This hardback 128 page book is a strictly limited edition of 300 with each one individually numbered...

beermageddon BEERMAGEDDON MAKE FIRST 2017 BAND ANNOUNCEMENTS
It's game on for Beermageddon and there's a whole host of fabulous acts playing the 2017 edition of the booziest festival in the UK...

rush RUSH TO RELEASE 'TIME STAND STILL' DOCUMENTARY
Dave Grohl: "Rush built their following the right way. Their legacy is incredible and their influence undeniable."

titanfest EXCLUSIVE FAST EDDIE CLARKE JOINS SAXON ONSTAGE FOR MOTÖRHEAD CLASSIC
Biff: "It's great to see Eddie playing again..."

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES CANCELS ENTIRE UK/EUROPEAN TOUR
"I am saddened and disappointed that I will not be able to perform for my UK and European fans as I had originally intended..."

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2016, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery