Album Reviews
Band: California Breed

Title: California Breed

Label: Frontiers Records 

  

California Breed is the new band coming out of the ashes of The Black Country Communion, as Glen Hughes and Jason Bonham are joined by young gun Andrew Watt.  

 

After being introduced to Hughes by Julian Lennon, Watt and Hughes jammed together at Hughes’s studio home and the spark that is California Breed was born.  

 

With Hughes unmistakable vocals, the powerhouse drums of Bonham along with the six string majesty of Watt, the trio have put together an album that hits you right from the start as a good album should, with the splendid ‘The Way’, with its heady funky tones courtesy of Hughes thumping bass lines and the drums of Bonham, all enclosed in the wonderful guitars of Watt.  

 

The big grooves of ‘Sweet Tea’ just have to be heard to be believed, with Hughes’s vocals simply superb throughout.  Then on 'Chemical Rain' Watt really shows what he can do with the six string, as you're taken on a sonic magic carpet ride that has that Zeppelin / St Pepper cross over feel, almost psychedelic vibe about it.

That same Zep vibe is continued on into the start of the excellent ‘Midnight Oil’, but then the funk of Hughes comes shining through and then the track really takes off.  Next up the band show their mellower side with the ballad 'All Falls Down’, a real classy slow burner that highlights the diversity of this band.

 

 

The tempo is picked up once more with the modern classic ‘The Grey’, which is probably the most commercial of the tracks on this album.  A real barnstormer with Hughes at his angsty vocal best.

 

 

There’s a heady dark vibe about ‘Days They Come’ that is quite mesmerizing this one is rock n' roll roller-coaster ride, full of low and high tones that is just pure ear-candy.

 

 

The diversity of the album I mentioned is taken to heart with the almost Pop / Punk / Blues of ‘Spit You Out’, a real curveball of a track, before returning to a more straight shooting rocker with the excellent ‘Strong’, then mixing it back up again with the Blues Funk psychedelic that is ‘Invisible’.   

 

The big hitting groove bass lines come thick and fast on ‘Scars’.  The mix of bluesy guitars and an almost raw vocal make this one of my favourites off the album.  The album closes in style with the balladesque ‘Breathe’, which starts off with a acoustic guitar and mellow vocal, but soon builds into an epic piece that rounds off what is a wonderful album.  If you thought The Black Country Communion rocked then standby to be taste the California Breed, you haven’t heard anything yet.

 

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

 

Tracklisting:

1. The Way
2. Sweet Tea
3. Chemical Rain
4. Midnight Oil
5. All Falls Down
6. The Grey
7. Days They Come
8. Spit You Out
9. Strong
10. Invisible
11. Scars
12. Breathe

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