RIVAL SONS – Pressure And Time (Earache / Riot!)

They're an American band. They come into your town, they help you party down... they're an American band.
Release Date: 
19 Jun 2011 - 11:30pm

Back in 1992, a friend and I were over the top, diehard fans of the band Redd Kross. Like, really huge fans. We hunted down everything we could possibly find which was quite a feat since you have to remember, back then, there was no internet. We had somehow discovered that the brothers from the band, Steve and Jeff McDonald, had acted in this film called The Spirit of 76. We were determined to find this movie. So much that we rang the distribution company in Australia and asked if they knew which shops had the film in stock. They told us that only 3 stores in my home town of Adelaide had this movie on their shelves. As luck would have it, we were only a 15 minute drive from the closest store. We jumped in the car and hurried down there and walked into the video store and straight up to the desk ‘Do you have the movie The Spirit of 76?’ The guy looked it up on the computer, said ‘yes, we do…’ and walked straight to the comedy section, found the movie, we paid for the rental and drove home faster than the speed of light to watch this cinematic masterpiece. The movie started and we were in hysterics. There on the screen were the McDonald brothers talking about THE American band; Grand Funk Railroad. I had never heard of them before. Who is this band? I began searching high and low for Grand Funk records. Each record fair was spent crate digging for vinyl of the Michigan power trio. As I acquired more and more Grand Funk Railroad albums, I realised just how incredible musicianship can be with vocalist Mark Farner’s wailin’ solos, Don Brewer’s pounding drums and Mel Schacher’s pumpin’ bass lines blasting through my stereo speakers.

Now you’re probably thinking "what the fuck does this have to do with this new Rival Sons album?" Well let me tell you this… without the Grand Funk masters of riffage, I doubt Rival Sons would have ever written this kick-ass record of 70’s inspired rock n roll in the year 2011. You see, from the moment the first track, All Over The Road, started, I was hearing Mark Farner’s signature stylin’ from the get-go. Works for me. The Michigan influence didn’t end there though, second track Young Love had me putting on the skull rings as I was hearing shades of Iggy’s vocalisin’. Again, welcomed. Then, as luck would have it, I spied with my TV Eye a borrowed Stooges riff in the song Get Mine. A bad thing? Of course it’s not. It works so who gives a shit? If slide guitar is your thing, the track Gypsy Heart is gonna have you squeezin’, pleasin’ and blues sleazin’ while White Noise has me wiggin’ out through psychedelic territory. I was loving this shit. I cranked it up. Loud. Ear drums? Who needs 'em. Loud is the only way a record like this should be heard. The album’s title track and first single, Pressure And Time has a groovin’ sleazy riff that if I was a pimp that strutted around Times Square in its heyday, I’d want this riff playing as I pounded the pavement in search of tricks. Let’s put it this way, everything the radio needs, this album has. Rather than the pop drivel that floods the airwaves these days, I long for the day of lava lamp lovin’ on a bean bag with some snazzy hippie girl while sweet Zeppelin-esque tunes like the Only One and the album’s closer, Face of Light, span on the turntable. Ahhh, it’s like a scene from The Wonder Years. Heaven.

There’s nothing to fault here. This album’s damn fine. I haven’t stopped listening to it. And why would I? Why would you? Rival Son’s Pressure and Time is one of 2011’s most anticipated releases and worthy of more praise than I could possibly write in a measly 10,000 word review. Oh, and if you haven’t seen The Spirit of 76, I suggest you do. But only after purchasing this hot little number first, of course.