Artist:  The Answer
   Title: Rise
   Label: Albert Productions 

After reading about this young Irish band I had to buy their debut CD "Rise" to see if they were actually that good and I have to say I wasn't disappointed in any way! 

"Under The Sky" was the only song that could have kicked off the CD.  A fine bluesy guitar lick accompanied by a typical "Walking" bass-line, then jumping into a wall of sound that makes you sit up and wonder, how old these lads actually are!?  Hard blues/rock at it's best. 

A guitar solo of top quality brings in "Never Too Late", surely their homage to Led Zeppelin!  The powerful sound of this song fills the room, and if you close your eyes you can just imagine Robert Plant strutting his stuff on stage singing this.  A fine tribute to classic 70's rock and the strongest track on the CD.

"Come Follow Me" brings it all back up to date, fine vocals, fast driving guitars and drums, then the tempo changes just at the right time to bring in another fine guitar solo, before returning to the pounding beat for a sharp finish.

It's a very Black Crowes - sounding song for the 4th track "Be What You Want", the keyboards giving it a soulful/bluesy twang.  The rasping vocals well suited to the overall sound and the drummer obviously enjoying himself on this one!  Short but sweet!!

This easy sounding track gives way to a slow, dirty blues riff on "Memphis Water".  The gravelly vocals soaring in, sounding like a man way beyond his age, then suddenly you're thrown into uptempo blues just for good measure only to be dragged back to the slow groove again.  Marvellous.

Track 6 "No Questions Asked" has a definite hint of more 70's rock to it, the drums building up at the start with the obligatory guitar solo over it.  Again the vocals are strong and aren't too dissimilar to a certain Mr Plant in his heyday!

Next up is "Into The Gutter", another gutsy blues rock anthem with the guitar sliding away above yet more driving bass and drums, and as the song went on, dare I say it would be something AC/DC would be proud of!

"Sometimes Your Love" for me has a very 90's sound to it, almost different from the others on this disc.  It really shows the quality of Cormac Neeson's voice as he goes through 2 separate bridges to bring the song to an end without any struggle.  The mark of an accomplished singer.

The 9th track "Leavin' Today" is a mixture of styles.  Fast, mid-tempo, a touch of stuttering then back to the usual hard blues/rock with the vocals almost spitting out above it all as if you were being ordered to listen.  A very strong song on par with the rest.

"Preachin" begins with a lovely slide guitar, bringing a thumping drum and bass to life with the laid-back storytelling vocals fitting in so well.  Just when you think it can't get any better, you get a choir and some keyboards thrown in as well which becomes the soul of the whole song, making it a moving 5 minutes and 50 seconds of pure class.

There has to be a slower song somewhere and the final song on this CD "Always" does the trick for all the fans of cigarette lighters!  The atmosphere start sends you away somewhere else after all the previous rockier tracks, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars in unison throughout with the softest vocals yet, then it builds up to an almost Bon Jovi type of song before yet another top guitar solo returns it to the keyboards and faded-out singing, bringing the CD to an end. 

There has been a lot written about The Answer over the last few months with all the praises well deserved, so all I can add in my own way is that this album for me hasn't a weak track on it and can hold it's own as a classic amongst the greats in years to come.

*A big thanks goes out to our special guest reviewer Bob Baldwin for this review.

Tracklisting:

1. Under The Sky
2. Never Too Late
3. Come Follow Me
4. Be What You Want
5. Memphis Water 
6. No Question Asked 
7. Into The Gutter
8. Sometimes Your Love
9. Leavin' Today
10. Preachin'
11. Always

                  

 

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