Apocalypse Blues Revue’s self-titled debut album is a bit of a misnomer. Sure, the songs are rooted in the blues, but there’s also a definite lineage to the blues-influenced bands of the 60’s and 70’s such as The Doors, Cream and Robin Trower.
Composed of Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin and guitarist Tony Rombola (as you’ve never heard them before) and featuring vocalist Ray “Rafer John” Cerbone and bassist Brian Carpenter, this band’s music will be a joy to anyone who loves good, hard blues/rock.
The whimsical Devil Plays a Strat will give any of our guitar playing readers a chuckle, whether they be Gibson or Fender aficionados. Whiskey in My Coffee features a super cool guitar shuffle, while The Tower could be straight out of the vintage Robin Trower playbook, both musically and lyrically. Rombola burns the fretboard in the guitar showpiece Crossed Over.
One of the most distinctive features of Apocalypse Blues Revue are Cerbone’s vocals. They guy sounds amazingly, eerily like Jim Morison. If someone was told that several songs on this collection are rare Doors outtakes that had recently been rediscovered, they could easily be fooled (it’s no surprise that the bonus track on the CD is a cover of The Door’s When The Music’s Over).
The Devil In Me is another guitar workout, while Blue Cross starts with a tasty, blues fingerpicked acoustic guitar rhythm track (which continues underneath during the song) before cranking up the electric. Cerbone screams “start it up, Rombola!” as the guitarist fires up a solo, which slowly fades into a funky, earthy outro, remerging into an acoustic drumming jam.
In the press materials, the bio of the band talks about how this project was a labor of love out of admiration for the honesty of the blues. ABR has definitely achieved that, and more.