If you’ve been fortunate enough to witness the genuine potential exhibited on their Head Down and Pressure & Time albums, then you’ll be hoping Rival Sons trimmed the fat off their last album, and fused it with the compact and neat songs from the Pressure & Time collection to create what the band should be achieving. The zenith of quality this band could create is so tangible that a real buzz of anticipation is in the air regarding this release.
Whether you’ve been caught up in the whirlwind of excitement or not regarding this album, you’d be foolish to dismiss the band and this album specifically. It contains ten classic rocking tracks which encompass a self-confident swagger; plenty of the blues fused together with some electric energy and the remarkable emotive lead vocals of Jay Buchanan. These ingredients present an irresistible atmosphere captured by their significant other – Dave Cobb at the production helm.
Complete with a subtle shadow of The Doors thanks to the presence of an organ and some sixties inspired rhythm section and melody lines, songs like Good Things and Rich and the Poor blossom with a vibe that hasn’t been so prominent on previous recordings. Where I’ve Been is stunning beauty within its fragility and overpowering emotion as the lyrical refrain “How can you love me when you know where I’ve been?” sneaks up on you and digs its sensitive claws into your mind.
Secret, album-opener Electric Man and Good Luck all rock with some tasty soul and passion, while a sense of the dramatic unfolds on the epic finale Destination on Course. In fact, there are many new sounds and a distinctive change in approach on this album-closer to make a few heads turn when ears are seduced by its bombast and sweeping fragments.
Prepare yourself for an obvious contender for album of the year as Great Western Valkyrie pulls off what so many have been hoping for these past few years – A solid set of true songs which cage the emotive qualities the band have shown fans around the globe in their live sets, and plenty of blood, sweat and tears. Each and every morsel of their hearts has been invested, channelled and tweaked with a magical precision. It is so good in fact that you may even want to quietly weep in the corner when nobody is looking. Ladies and gentlemen, Rival Sons have left the building only to enter the stratosphere of excellence.