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Rival Sons – Head Down

You like the Black Keys. Go on, you must like the Black Keys, everyone likes the Black Keys these days. That’s why they’re playing the O2 next weekend with support coming from no less than the Maccabees. Yep, it’s amazing how much of a difference a year or so can make to a band’s status. Or maybe, just maybe, classic 70’s rock is on the comeback trail?

Were the latter the case, then Californian quartet Rival Sons must be waiting in the wings for their leg-up to stardom. Wearing its Led Zeppelin  influences proudly on its sleeves, the band’s new album Head Down kicks off with a delightfully over the top guitar riff and never really looks back. Singer Jay Buchanan’s vocals soar over the heavy licks of barnstorming anthems like Keep On Swinging, but retain the emotion necessary for the softer tones of Jordan. This album could have been made any time in the last 40 years, and frankly in any of those years it still would have demanded attention.

It’ll be interesting to see if Rival Sons can ride the coat-tails of Wolfmother and the Black Keys in terms of re-commercialisation of the genre, but for fans of those bands, this album should tide you over nicely until their next albums… Or if you’re minted enough, the next Led Zep reunion tour.

by Harry Harland