Rival Sons - Feral Roots
The Southern California rockers, known as Rival Sons, released their debut major-label album in January, and in doing so positioned themselves at the forefront of the rock n’ roll landscape.
On day one of its release, Feral Roots, reached #3 on the iTunes rock charts, and earlier this week the album’s leading single, “Do Your Worst” reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart, making it their first charted track since “Keep On Swinging” peaked at #34 in 2013.
Rival Sons kicked off their new major-label deal by releasing the first single, “Do Your Worst.” Paired with an official video that shows off footage from the band’s travels on the road over the last year, the track is right up there with the best of their work. “Do Your Worst” does a great job of providing audiences with a taste of what this band is all about – hard-rocking guitar riffs that support the soulful and dynamic vocal presence of frontman, Ray Buchanan.
“Back in the Woods” is the album’s second single, and it serves as a hard-hitting, energetic rock tune that, again, allows singer Jay Buchanan to impress with his wide vocal range and rock n’ roll attitude that shines through his voice. Coupled with a set of backup vocals to assist in the chorus, and that classic fuzzy sound from Scott Holiday’s guitar, “Back in the Woods” is a certifiable good time that deserves a closer look from music fans across the world.
Feral Roots is not an album for the weary. This record thumps and punches the listener over and over with rocking guitar riffs, explosive power chords, and a type of masterful songwriting that is largely unheard of in today’s current music industry. Songs like “Sugar on the Bone” and “Too Bad” do a great job of providing fans with the type of aggressive, hard-rock vibes that music fans still long for today.
In contrast, songs such as “Look Away” and the album’s title track, “Feral Roots” demonstrate another side of the group’s songwriting abilities. Each song spends about a minute slowly guiding the listener through ambient acoustic sections before hitting the listener in the face with all those elements Rival Sons fans came for. Don’t look now, but Buchanan's singing in “Look Away” is beautifully reminiscent of The Cult’s Ian Astbury.
With tracks like “Stood By Me” and “Imperial Joy” the band once again demonstrates how their style can’t be contained inside one box. This group is too talented and too creative to play in one style, especially with this being their major-label debut. “Stood By Me” is a grooving good time that can be played in almost any setting. Whether you want to rock out or dance the night away, this tune is a firecracker of a jam for everyone involved.
With the album’s final song, “Shooting Stars,” Rival Sons really shows the world who they are. This track has everything fans of any genre could want to hear from a group as talented as Rival Sons. Everything from the lyrics to the backing vocals, to the majestic guitar playing of Holiday, makes this track one of the most unforgettable rock tunes to come out of the last five years. As one of the group’s strongest recordings to date, “Shooting Stars” is a true rock anthem that will surely be celebrated for years.
Rival Sons are currently on tour, with dates leading up until the end of this summer. With an impressive and extensive catalog of bangers to back them up, audiences should expect to see a lot more Rival Sons in the mainstream over the next couple years. One listen to Feral Roots will tell you this band is not going anywhere.