Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Review by Nightwatcher
Conjuring up the spirit of classic Zeppelin, Humble Pie and other heavyweight British bands such as Free, Ireland's The Answer have, with their debut 'Rise', come up with an album that's destined to be a modern day classic upon arrival. While most bands of this ilk stumble along the way to paying homage, these young Irish lads hit the mark and then some , fulfilling the promise of their earlier EP's and then some, creating what must be considered a strong contender for album of the year.
Ramming down the door immediately with the muscular riff rocker "Under The Sky", it's quite obvious the band is playing for keeps. Whether it's heavy, wah inflected rockers such as "Never Too Late", which comes across as almost a lost Humble Pie track, or the trips down to the Delta that are "Memphis Water" or "Preachin' these boys switch gears with ease- like a fine tuned sports car, they're ready for action. Add in a contemplative "Always" which, with its delicately picked acoustic guitar, Who like keyboards and plainative vocals to end the album and you have an effort that's one for the ages. Amidst all the bluesy hard rockers, they find the time to get a bit reflective with the Tesla-like "Be What You Want" which brings down the heaviness factor a bit without being wimpy. A ballad with balls if you will, and a fine change of pace. But, what you mostly get here is honest, first rate heavy rock without being metal in the fine '70's tradition.
In vocalist Cormac Neesen, the band has found a singer who howls like a combination of Plant and Marriott of old, while guitarist Paul Mahon throws off riffs reminiscent of Jimmy Page or even Angus Young, the perfect foil to provide the necessary thrust these well crafted songs deserve. Add in the Bonham/Moon like drumming of James Heatley and the pounding bass of Michael Waters and you have a combination that clicks, and it would appear the sky's the limit for the band.
This is a consistent album from start to finish, with absolutely no filler, and at a little under 50 minutes is the perfect length. Even though after hearing the entire album, which leaves you wanting more, they don't overstay their welcome, a pleasant change in a day where myriad releases cause one to skip over tracks to get to the ones that truly matter due to over extended running lengths.The esteemed English Classic Rock mag weren't blowing out their ass when they proclaimed this "The best British rock debut of the decade! Believe it!" Trust me, once you hear this one you'll be a believer as well. If you're a fan of classic British heavy rock the way it was played in the '70's, you can't go wrong with this one. 9/10 http://www.theanswer.ie/home.html