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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A definite grower.
Was very much looking forward to this album after loving Rival Sons previous album Head Down but initially I was a little disappointed. There were standout tracks such as Electric Man, Play the Fool, Good Things and the amazing Destination on Course, but not much else was grabbing my attention in the way every track on Head Down did. I must have listened to the album 5 or...
Published 3 months ago by Bobrock_32

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New album brought out too quickly
Couldn't wait for Rival Sons next album to come out. Having seen them live last year in London and going to a small acoustic session of theirs at a London train station definitely put them in my top 5 favourite bands. Pressure and Time kicked arse and Head Down grew on me the more I listened to it but you know what....Rival Sons have lost me a bit with this album. I'm all...
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A definite grower., 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
Was very much looking forward to this album after loving Rival Sons previous album Head Down but initially I was a little disappointed. There were standout tracks such as Electric Man, Play the Fool, Good Things and the amazing Destination on Course, but not much else was grabbing my attention in the way every track on Head Down did. I must have listened to the album 5 or 6 times now and it's definitely a grower, Rich and the Poor and Belle Star really shining after a few listens and the guitar work showing the more times you listen to it.
I suppose the most lazy and obvious comparison here would be The Black Keys; A lot of the songs have that bands bluesy garage rock feel but dig deeper and the Led Zeppelin, Doors, maybe Free influences are there and it's another awesome vocal performance from Jay Buchanan, who on the aforementioned Destination on Course seems to be channelling Jeff Buckley and Robert Plant.
Time will tell but overall this doesn't feel like a giant leap forward but at the same time Great Western Valkyrie is a very good rock album and one that should see Rival Sons become one of the biggest bands of their style around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Groovy, baby...., 14 Oct 2014
This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
Classic Rock has been peddling this band for quite a while, to the point that it felt like outright nepotism. This was a bit of a put-off really and early recordings that were given away with the magazine seemed somewhat unspectacular and not at all worth the hype.

The magazine then helpfully dished out yet another freebie of the band's history (here we go again, I thought) so reluctantly I took it to play on my long commute in the car and lo and behold the first track `Open My Eyes' blasted out of the dash board like a modern day Led Zeppelin (think Rock `n Roll or When the Levee Breaks). Inspired I bought the album which instantly showed how the band had consolidated their sound into a consistent 60's, very early 70's vibe. It's fair to say that every song pretty much apes something that you will have heard countless times before (except for the yodelling on Electric Man....). So you get, say, the screaming vocal power of Jim Morrison of the Doors on `Secret', the 60s hippy dreaminess of the Righteous Brothers on `Good Luck' and other nods towards Led Zeppelin, The Animals, early Deep Purple (Black Night riff on 'Secret'), the Stones and even the Cult in their Electric/Love period (on the rock swagger of opener 'Electric Man'). What makes it great (at least for the first 7 tracks) is that the commitment is 100%, the production is contemporary but the style and instrumentation is pure Old School (Hammond organs, 60's microphone sound, 'hippy trip' in-fills that will summon up images of girls with big hair and mini skirts gyrating around on podiums) and the songs are ridiculously catchy and well crafted (possibly too catchy for endless repeat listens?). Only obvious downside is that the album appears to be in two distinct halves - up to track 7 is all about the 60s party but track 8 eight onwards is more of a dark hangover.

Still, as the formula is a 50 year old winning one, you'd have to be lobotomised not to enjoy the first half of this - it's cool, it rocks hard in most places, it's stylised, 'groovy' and remarkably timeless - it just won't push any musical boundaries beyond about 1973.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back To The Future, 10 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. R. Powell (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
Well they've gone and done it again. The Sons have taken so much of was great about rock music in the late sixties and early seventies, thrown it into a melting pot and for the fourth time produced an outstanding album that acknowledges its heritage yet sounds fresh. So many bands and artists these days just try and recreate what has gone before but without making it sound interesting and then failing to make an album that is worth re-visiting, but what these guys have done is take little bits of those older classic artists and thrown them together in each song so that no one song sounds just like another artist that has gone before. So yes you get some Zeppelin, the drum intro to Open My Eyes sounds straight from When The Levee Breaks, then you get some Doors, Ray Manzarek style keyboards sneaking in here and there, oh and then some Who style chords in the opening to Belle Starr, but they never stay in the style of just one band. Good Thing has elements of Just Dropped In by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, the song used in The Big Lebowski's dream sequence where Jeff Bridges 'Dude' floats around a bunch of buxom Valkyries, perhaps a nod from the albums title. The playing as always is excellent, Jays vocals reaching new heights particularly on the slower songs and yes it rocks out but just as with Head Down a couple of beautiful slower songs are there to for light and shade. So there we have it, Rival Sons fourth album, it's a corker that yes visits rock musics past but feels fresh and constantly interesting, The Dude would approve!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant classic!!, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
Rival Sons really are at the top of their game with this album. I've heard several people say this album is a grower but it was instant for me. I've been listening to Open My Eyes, Electric Man, Belle Starr and Good Things on the run up to release and all are pure classics. Great production, perfect playing and just about the best rock vocals around today.

Having listened to the rest of the album today there's clearly a wide variety of styles on display but with the unmistakeable Rival Sons sound running through. The Zeppelin influence is evident but what better band to be influenced by?! As for sounding like the Doors, I can only hear their influence on one track and to be honest Jim Morrison never sounded this good (and that's coming from a Doors fan)!!

Basically do yourself a favour buy this today, and while you're at it go see 'em live!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great new effort, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
For me this is a great album, well for the first 6 tracks. There after I'm not so fond, still I only got it in the wee hours of this morning so it may be a grower.
I'm still waiting for them to match the brilliance of 'Pressure and Time'.
They are still a totally awesome classic band with a huge sound, and that's not even a question here, the production is faultless.

You will find it hard to not turn this up, up, up. well, until track 7. ;-)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rival Sons will rock you!, 5 July 2014
By 
D. C. Stolk (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
Valkyries are the “chooser of the slain” from Norse mythology: female figures, usually depicted on winged horses, who choose who may live or die in battle and bring their chosen to Valhalla, the afterlife hall of the slain, ruled by Odin. In 1860, Wagner based an opera on these mythical women, and they also speak much to the imagination within the heavy metal/hard rock community. Think of songs like Amberian Dawn’s “Valkyries,” or the more recent “Valkyrie” by British prog-rock band Asia, or as now with “Great Western Valkyrie,” the new album by hard-rock band Rival Sons.

Rival Sons was founded in 2009 in Long Beach, California after the disintegration of Black Summer Crush, the band of guitarist Scott Holiday and drummer Michael Miley. They found a vocalist in Jay Buchanan and a bassist in Robin Everhart, who was replaced in 2013 by David Best, and their fourth album continues their mission to reproduce vintage guitar-driven rock, helped by solid production from Dave Cobb. Apart from the title, the Valkyries do not feature anywhere in the theme of this record. The lyrics are mostly about personal victories and passionately sung by Buchanan. The pathos in his voice fits perfectly with the classic rock that blasts from your speakers.

The influences of Rival Sons are fairly obvious. So is “Good Luck” very obviously inspired by the heavier work of The Who, “Electric Man” and “Secret” are indebted to Led Zeppelin, while Rod Argent’s work seems to be the main source of inspiration for “Good Things.” The early work of Foreigner (long before the power ballads of the 80s) resounds in tracks like “Play The Fool” and “Open My Eyes.” So one might argue that Rival Sons doesn’t have a truly unique sound, but the group manages to so effortlessly mimic their virtuoso examples, I would give as counterpoint: who cares? They sound great! Just listen to the epic album-finale “Destination On Course,” a fitting climax to a great album.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This band just keeps getting better and better, 9 Jun 2014
This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
After the release of head down which is one of my favourite albums of all time, the new rival Sons album had a lot of expectations to live up to. Well the boys have done it again. This has to be their best album yet, not one bad moment here. The guitars are incredible, Jays vocals seem to of gone up a level and Mileys drums are just on fire. You will not find another band out there today operating on this level. This band deserves to be huge and rightfully take their place among the greats. This is powerful, emotional music that will move you to your very soul. Check them out today, you won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This album is a cut above and I loved it on first playing, 1 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
This album is a cut above and I loved it on first playing. The sound mix is fantastic - you could be listening to something from the sixties or seventies but the energy is superb and in many ways it is very modern. I was quite taken aback by the homage to Pink Floyd's Echoes on the last track but it works. My only criticism id the ridiculous CD cover with writing which can only be viewed through a powerful microscope.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They deliver once again.., 17 Jun 2014
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What can i say.....Awesome band and they deliver once again. I have been waiting for this album for a while and got it on day 1 and have not stopped playing it.
Obviously we all have different taste in music, but if you like a solid, tight and slick band that play good rock music with a Blues feel then this is the band for you.
My favourite track has to be track 5 - Good Things. A nice blues melody and an amazing bass line all the way through.

I highly recommend this album, you will not be disappointed!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic guitar and drums, 21 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Great Western Valkyrie (Audio CD)
Must admit this is the first c.d. in our collection of Rival Sons, but it won't be the last; after seeing and more importantly hearing them on Later With Jewels Holland last week we had to buy the disc. Fantastic guitar and drums, all so tight and clean. Great singing of course goes without saying. If you haven't got this album yet you don't know what your missing!!!!!!
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Great Western Valkyrie
Great Western Valkyrie by Rival Sons (Audio CD - 2014)
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