Morrow vs. Hajduch: Rival Sons

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Rival Sons

Rival Sons: s/t EP (Earache, 1/11/11)

Rival Sons: “Get What’s Coming”
[audio:|titles=Rival Sons: “Get What’s Coming”]

Morrow: Rival Sons is a California quartet of classic-rock enthusiasts.  Its fiery, bluesy pysch rock (can something be both fiery and bluesy?) already has led to high-profile national tours, and now the band has released its debut EP for Earache in advance of a full-length album, Pressure and Time, that’s coming in May.

On the EP, there’s plenty of Led Zeppelin mimicry — the main riff and beat on “Radio” practically are straight-up lifted — but there are enough rock-out riffs, raging solos, and powerful vocal moments to sustain interest.   It’s like if Wolfmother weren’t terribly boring, or if the White Stripes had a real drummer.

Hajduch: Stuff can be fiery and bluesy.  Think about bunsen burners — blue fire, dog.  It burns hotter. Similarly, these tunes are pretty hot.  I think of stompier, more galloping Black Sabbath (e.g. “Faeries Wear Boots”) when I hear this.

I think that Meg White proved, basically since like 2002, that she got really good at drums (Icky Thump in particular features some excellent drumming), but that is besides the point.  Your comparisons are dead on — Rival Sons play blues-inspired, uptempo classic rock.  They don’t focus too hard on being particularly heavy or deep, and instead zone in on providing pentatonic riffs that a person can groove to (and the obligatory acoustic ballad that I just automatically assume is about dragons or hobbits or something).

Outside of some up-to-date production (the drums are too loud and deep for ’70s FM rock — it’s particularly [and ironically] noticeable on “Radio”), you could hear this on the radio and it wouldn’t sound super objectionable.  I am definitely on board to hear more of this when the LP is released.

Morrow: Definitely.  It’s one of those rare bands that (to this point) doesn’t do anything new but gives you plenty of reason to crank it.  That acoustic number, “Sacred Tongue,” is a nice breather, so I’d like to hear a varied take on that when the LP comes out.  The same goes for “Soul,” the slow jam that closes out the EP.  These guys definitely have the potential for some major hits.

1 thought on “Morrow vs. Hajduch: Rival Sons”

  1. Hey guys, Thanx for the love. As I am the drummer for rival sons, I’d just like to comment on a couple of your comments
    😉 Though I am a huge fan of that era, there is not one song/groove from Zep that comes close to Radio. I actually took lessons from dave garibaldi from tower of power; and it’s basically a garibaldi-inspired groove played bombastically. That’s my thing. The guitar riff is simply your typical high-octane blues thing. No Zep. And yes, my drums are loud; just the way it should be. Haha. We appreciate guys who know their s^*t so Thanx for writing about us. Keep in touch. ~Mike Miley

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