I never really paid full attention to Los Angeles band Rival Sons when it first hit the scene back in 2008—a huge mistake that I am proud to have fixed upon hearing Pressure And Time. The blues-rock-inspired quartet uses its inspiring talents to produce an unparalleled energetic sound.
Opening track “All Over The Road” is an excellent introduction to the blues/soul blend you are about to get into for the next half hour. By the time the song reaches the bridge, a wailing guitar solo dominates the remainder of the track, but it isn’t prolonged to a point of disinterest.
The title track, “Pressure And Time,” immerses you in a thick and heavy sound that hooks you in an instant; its brevity is made up for by the amount of layers and elements the band packs into the song. “Only One” is slow and sexy; the organ that joins in at the chorus unifies not only the different instruments but also Jay Buchanan’s vocals, which waver between soul and psychedelic rock.
You couldn’t ask for a better closing track than “Face Of Light,” another slow song that calls for concentration as it builds up to the chorus. Unlike the other choruses written by Rival Sons, this one carries a softer impact and is more melodic. It fades out, and the story is over, but the effect lingers.
Rival Sons doesn’t sound like a typical Los Angeles rock group; it sounds like it’s rooted in the Deep South, channeling soulful rock influences. Hints of Robert Plant vocals and strong references to Wolfmother chart Rival Sons as a truly hard rocking band. Listen to this album with the volume cranked.