Rival Sons Does Classic Rock Right With New Album, Pressure & Time

When will you get a greater flashback rock 'n' roll experience? I don't know.

By , Columnist

If you were to take a musical snapshot from the '70s with even its run-of-the mill arena rock bands, you'd get a pretty clear idea of just how cool Rival Sons are. Like the legitimacy of Black Crowes before them, Rival Sons have combined a natural rock and roll appearance with an oft imitated musical style. The thing is that so few bands these days possess the musical talents to successfully pull off this very difficult emulation of the golden age...or at least make some of us old-timers feel at home. Rival Sons does this effortlessly.

Rival Sons formed in Los Angeles sometime in 2008. Cutting their teeth and refining their craft of bluesy rock, the kind that Led Zeppelin, Faces, and a hundred other classic names reveled in decades before, Rival Sons soon “became” the bands they convincingly emulated, much of it on the club circuits.

The four-member band went on to record and self-release a full length album, Before The Fire, using digital downloads as the only means to distribute the album. A year later, in 2010, they finally provided the album to a growing fan-base in CD form. The 30-minute, 11-track album even daringly followed a time format reminiscent of those early years with short, rocking, radio-sized tunes but throwing in a few extended tracks to lend to the “deep” FM album style. So far, so good.

But goodness like Rival Sons cannot be contained to a small audience for long. The band has opened shows for Alice Cooper, Kid Rock, and Judas Priest, and has had a rousing track (“Tell Me Something”) from their debut set played on television. On June 20 (UK), and June 28 (US), the band released their latest album, Pressure & Time, via heavy metal US label, Earache Records.


Pressure & Time is a well produced collection of ten original “classic rock” songs with the album still clocking in at around the 30-minute mark. As a mark of success, the cover was designed by noted artist Storm Thorgerson, who has famously created the artwork for many bands including Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of The Moon and Led Zeppelin's Presence. The music of Pressure & Time, of course, is the proof of the pudding. The album opens with a rollicking tune (“All Over the Road”), a scorching intro to your new rock and roll obsession (if classic '70s arena rock orbits your world). I'm currently fixed on the title track, “Pressure & Time”, a Led Zeppelin-like song that wants to be your friend. Simply, Pressure & Time is a legitimate entry that shouts its intentions to be a part of the rock phenomenon. I haven't seen a show by these guys but I can pretty much say that if they were in the thick of it back in the '70s, this album is a 35th Anniversary celebratory upgrade right now.

Rival Sons have the rock and roll swagger down pat. If you remember the arena bands of the '70s, then you know what this revivalist band brings to the game we lovingly call rock and roll. It doesn't matter that this has been done before. What matters is how good it's being done. With Rival Sons, it's being aced - a rare trait all around.

A 180g vinyl LP now available can really complete this experience.

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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