The Lowdown: Nearing the tenth anniversary of their debut album’s release, Rival Sons offer their sixth studio album with Feral Roots. The tracks throughout Feral Roots show off the California band’s range in performing bluesy rock ‘n’ roll; with high energy riffs and slow melancholy rhythms, the music offers a variety of emotional tones for listeners to absorb. In all its mood and style, Feral Roots exudes a delicious instrumental blend of rock.
The Good: The album’s best quality is its instrumental variety; from the electric rhythm of “Do Your Worst” to the somber vibes in “Look Away”, the record continuously provides a fresh spin on the band’s sound. In particular, the guitar work is the critical component among the group, providing the powerful instrumental emotion in each song.
In “Do Your Worst”, the vocals blend in with the vibrant guitar and bass flow, the drum work clashing alongside the mix. The guitar’s warm fuzzy tone leads into “Sugar on the Bone”; carrying more boisterous energy in the drumming, the song makes for a playful jam. Each component of the band compliments one another, helping to establish a unifying element throughout the music.
Even though Rival Sons does a great job creating heavy rock, it’s terrific to see how they can spin multiple styles across the album. While “Look Away” offers more of a drawl in its radiant twang, the self-titled track is a big shift in musical tone compared to the tracks before it. The song takes on a folksier flavor in the vocals, with the guitar work providing gentle picking and flourishing melodies that present a mesmerizing flow. “Stood By Me” gives off a funky appeal in its rhythm, whereas “All Directions” exudes a starry atmospheric vibe.
The Bad: Truthfully, there isn’t much one can find negatively on this album. From beginning to end the band offers great musical quality; it also helps that each track has some distinction in sound, giving listeners more to enjoy.
The Verdict: If you’re brand new to Rival Sons, then Feral Roots is an excellent place to start. Across 11 tracks, the band keeps listeners engaged thanks to a spread of bluesy rock. Electric rhythms intertwine with warm vocals and glowing melodies throughout Feral Roots, making for an experience where listeners will find something different to enjoy in each track.
Essential Tracks: “Do Your Worst”, “Feral Roots”, “Stood By Me”