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They deliver yet again
on 20 August 2008
So here we are, the second offering from Southern heavy rockers, Black Stone Cherry. I like the idea they came up with for this second album - it's clever and original.
So, has the so-called 'second album syndrome' affected these guys? No, not at all. Whilst I admit, they seem to have a more mainstream feel to some of their songs - 'Soulcreek', for example, with its 'Yeah, yeah' chorus, and the more radio-friendly ballads, such as 'Things My Father Said', 'Peace Is Free' and 'You'.
But it's not all acoustic/rock ballads. Not by any means. 'Blind Man' oozes hard rock throughout, and so does 'Please Come In', which has Led Zeppelin written all over it, but with a more mainstream chorus.
'Reverend Wrinkle' is a great track and is very much a Metal track. 'Soulcreek' is the type of track which would propel BSC into the mainstream market, without fully compromising their sound. It's a great song, and Chris Robertson's vocals are spot on. 'Things My Father Said' is a very poignant track and I think it's great. The good thing about this album, and I suppose it's what makes it better than the debut in a sense that it has more variety.
Track six is 'The Bitter End', which is Metal and nothing except that. It ebbs and flows, but a great song it is. Chris Robertson's vocals are majestic, a great track. Track seven is 'Long Sleeves'. It's poignant, but again focuses on the superstitional aspect of the album. Robertson sings 'my momma said to wear long sleeves'. The track itself is Metal, without a doubt. The riffs are great.
Track eight is 'Peace Is Free' and it is aimed for the mainstream market. A great uplifting track, an anthem, if you like. This is the variety that BSC have found within this second recording. Track nine is 'Devil's Queen', and it's a great story within the song. Hard rock riffs bordering on Metal and this is great stuff to listen to. One of the better tracks on the album, if truth be told.
Track ten is 'The Key'. This one's a bit weird, with lyrics including the word 'thylacines', and a middle-eight which goes haywire and a bit messy. The riffs are inventive and fresh though, and the originality is there without question. Track eleven is another rock ballad, 'You'. The chorus is brilliant and the original acoustic riff at the beginning is excellent. Robertson sings it impeccably, even though I reckon he sounds scarily like Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour), albeit a mellower one.
Track twelve is 'Sunrise', which is Metal. I think this is probably the weakest offering, as the chorus is an anti-climax. It's a good song, but it's missing that extra inspiration that the other songs have in abundance. And the final track is 'The Ghost of Floyd Collins'. I love it, it starts with someone telling the tale before the riffs kick in and Robertson sings. Brilliant track, in all honesty.
A brilliant album. You will not regret buying this, it is essential. 10/10.