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They've Done It Again!
on 7 June 2011
So firsts things first, I'm a huge Black Stone Cherry fan. They're up there with my top 3 bands and so ultimately this review is going to be biased, I'm not going to deny this. Now to the album. At first listen I'll be honest, I was a little disapointed. In the three years between this and BSC's second album the band racked up more plays than anyone else on my iPod and I think as a result of this my expectations were sky high. However, far from not hitting these heights, the album simply took a few listens to grow on me. Now I can safely say that it is my favourite BSC album and I simply cannot stop listening. Heavy riffs and Robertsons simply outstandning voice makes the album infectious once it grows on you, and the trademark slower songs once again pull on the heart strings and get the emotions going. Big chorus's leave you singing the songs hours after the album finishes. From here I'm going to explore the album track by track. If you're not a fan of those kind of reviews then skip to the end where I'll give a brief summary of everything.
So the album kicks off with the first single White Trash Millionaire, which most have probably heard. The main riff is fantastic, simple and strong. For me its Robertson's vocals which make this song particularly special. From the simple way he sings the line "nobody taught me, I was born this way", to his bellowing of the chorus, he lifts this song to great heights and it's a strong opener.
Killing Floor follows on and is the longest song of the album, at only 4 minutes long. The opening to this song is ominous and sets up the crunching main riff which carrys the song along. The chorus is classic BSC, simple and addictive. A great little breakdown following the solo sets the song up to burst back in to top gear. A great track.
In My Blood comes next. This is BSC in fine form, with a chorus which has a real feel good factor and is one that really sticks in your head. Robertson again lifts the song with powerful vocals. A great little solo on this track too.
Such A Shame is track number 4 and opens wth a riff which would fit like a glove on an Alter Bridge album. It then moves on to a Nickelback-esque feeling (not a bad thing in my opinion, others may disagree) as it tells its story of a neglected 'little girl' who meets an untimely demise. A real simple track, very effectively executed.
Wont Let Go next and another clasic BSC feel good track, reminiscent of Peace is Free and You. The lyrics are easy to relate to and as such it is a very enjoyable song to sing along to. Some great backing vocals on this one.
Blame It On The Boom Boom sits in the middle of the 12 main tracks and is an early favourite for me. A track about sex (or 'boom boom') it's very tongue in cheek with a memorable if somewhat cheesy chorus (come on it is rock 'n' roll we don't always need to be serious). There's some brilliant guitar work on this, the track is really enjoyable.
Like I Roll takes off where Wont Let Go left off. A great feel good track again, particularly reminiscent of Rollin' On from the self titled debut. I've no doubt this will get a lot of plays on the iPod.
Can't You See brings back the heavy riffs and Southern blues influence of BSC's music. A great headbanging riff follows the chorus, which itself isn't the best on the album but still remains strong. A nice little solo on this track.
Let Me See You shake next and once again Chris Robertson gives the song that extra bit of oomph for me which makes it really enjoyable. There's also a fantastic breakdown and solo to look forward to in this song.
Stay comes up next and it's another Nickelback-esque slower song which is emotional, much like Things My Father Said but arguably not as strong a song. Nevertheless it's classic BSC and if you've liked everything so far this won't disapoint.
Change is the penultimate song of the standard tracks. The big riffs come back again, with another opening reminiscent of Alter Bridge. The chorus gives a feeling of Bitter End and is another one that stays in the head for a while. Great breakdown and solo left this song in the middle.
All I'm Dreaming Of finishes the standard album and we return to Peace Is Free teritory, as Robertson preaches of dreaming of a better world. Another one that's easy to relate to and the Southern sound lurks in the background. I can see this one being a good sing-along live.
Now we come to the bonus tracks of the speacial edition. First up is Staring At The Mirror. This is a fantastic song, some great riffs and a fantastic chorus with Robertson performing to the best of his abilities. I particularly like the riff that accompanies the end of the chorus, it gives the song so much power. In my opinion this really should have been one of the standard albums 12 tracks, though I wouldn't like to decide which I would drop to make room!
Next up is Fade Away. A great acoustic lead song which once again delves into BSC's softer side. The chorus is particularly strong and once again Robertson makes the song memorable with his vocals.
Finally then we have Die For You. This is classic BSC reminiscnet of perhaps Shooting Star. A great riff once again follows the chorus and really gets the headbanging. Another great breakdown lifts the song and great backing vocals really polish the track. The three bonus tracks are very strong and I'm glad I purchased the special edition, my advise to accomplished BSC fans and newcomers alike would be to do the same.
In conclusion then this album is BSC in outstanding form. Though it took a little while to grow on me as much as it has, I believe it definitely deserves a listen and sitts perfectly alongside the bands oustanding first two albums. Blame It On The Boom Boom, In My Blood, snd bonus trak Staring At The Mirror are particular standouts for me, but the album is strong throughout. BSC are an amazing hard rock band, which this album only serves to confirm. Buy it, crank up the volume, and enjoy!!