Overall Score: 7/10 Songwriting: 7/10 Musicianship: 8/10 Production: 7/10 Pros: Black Stone Cherry sound like Black Stone Cherry. No over the top production Cons: No standout tracks. Doesn't quite match energy of previous albums
Since their formation a little over 20 years Black Stone Cherry have been at the forefront of southern tinged heavy rock and this week sees the release of their 8th full length album and their first with new bassist Steve Jewell Jr. Opening with the title track it’s clear this is a band that has matured and grown together both literally and in terms of their songwriting.
Each track seems to be less about big fat riffs and more about having something to say – and if there’s a big riff in there too that’s a bonus.
Written on tour and recorded in a rented theatre in Glasgow, Kentucky a short drive from their home in Edmonton the sound is as big as you would expect from setting up a drumkit on a stage, without ever sounding too removed or overpowering.
Singer/guitarist Christ Robinson sounds incredible throughout as one would expect, particularly pulling the emotion out of every lyric on Raindrops on a Rose, while Out of Pocket has a great hook and The Mess You Made sounds like early BSC, all the instruments just driving forward with Chris’ aforementioned powerful voice leading the way.
The album ends just as strongly as it begins, Here’s to the Hopeless is a little more sedate than the rest of the album but lacks the impact of ballads such as Please Come In or The Rambler while You Can Have it All closes the album on a positive note telling listeners “Turns out we’re not all perfect/But we’re not all burdens”
Overall it’s a good album, but fails to light any fires the way any past opus, such as, Folklore and Superstition or even Kentucky did, that said, lyrically this album really feels like it has something to say, be that some cathartic release of something from the pat or just something it was felt the fans needed to hear and that’s difficult to argue with.
Screamin’ At The Sky is out on September 29th via Mascot Records. The band will hit the UK this week for a tour in support of it. Album preorder & tour ticket info can be found here