One of the upsides about contributing to Moshville Times is being sent so much in the way new music and new bands to check out. And that’s also a downside: not enough hours in the day to listen to it all, much less write reviews. There is, alas, another drawback. Whilst I like to think of myself as having a broad range of tastes, I’m constantly drawn to hard rock.
And after a while, even with new bands, it becomes stale as every band draws from the same influences resulting in the same sound and regardless of quality, I begin to cringe when you hear the term “modern hard rock”. Thankfully, Black Cat Bones come beating down the doors, capes donned in order to save the day.
Mired in blues and sweating testosterone, Down to the River shows a band ready to make the next leap in their career. It’s clear throughout the EP this band have been playing together for some time and supporting bands like The Quireboys and Tygers of Pan Tang will naturally have an influence.
Full of chunky riffs, Black Cat Bones make it apparent from the start what they’re all about. Opening track “Seen Better Days” is everything you want from a modern hard rock song: hooks, massive riffs, something you can nod along with and killer vocals. And alongside that, they take that all-too-familiar sound and create something fresh-sounding. There’s a sprinkling of grunge in it to make it sound like it’s been pulled through a hedge backwards and makes it all the better for it.
Meanwhile “Give You the World” takes a leap into sludgy territory, swamped in blues, it wouldn’t sound out of place on Slash’s Snakepit’s It’s Five o’Clock Somewhere. It’s easily the highlight on what is an excellent EP. Title track, “The River”, brings in a hint of delta blues with harmonica and with its groove makes for an excellent closing track.
Black Cat Bones may have stumbled across a sound which is largely unoriginal (through no fault of their own) but they twist the usual influences into something different which sets them apart from the majority of the pack to join that exclusive club of doing it better than most.
Down to the River is released on 29th September.