Vinyl Blog #19. Rival Sons -Head Down
When I first heard Rival Sons a few years ago, they were a pleasant and welcome surprise. It was one of those rare occasions for me when I heard their songs on a Friday, and then by Sunday, I had their vinyl on the way to the house. And I mean their entire catalog. I owned it all. And I couldn't get enough of it.
My copy of their third full-length LP "Head Down" was a limited edition print of 200 copies. I think the reason that their music has resonated so well, is that the band is just god damned authentic in every sense of the word. So far, they have written and recorded all of their music on the spot, with no pre-production whatsoever. According to the band, they write and arrange songs in the studio. It's amazing to know that what you hear on any Rival Sons record, is usually a first or second take. Who the fuck does that these days? They also do not use Pro-Tools, or any other kind of studio trickery, instead using analog, two-inch tape to record. All songs are cut live off the cuff, and instantly, similar to the old blues and rock records of the past.
When interviewed by Guitar World, Guitarist Scott Holiday explained the studio process for Rival Sons on the Head Down sessions:
"So much rock and roll these days seems like it’s been so overworked. You listen and you can actually hear the labor that’s gone into making it. You’ve got to go back to the early sessions of Elvis, the Beatles and the Stones to find music that wasn’t as laborious. When you listen to those records, you know they didn’t labor over it. They just whipped it and cracked it out. We have the right people and confidence in each other to work off of that we’re able to go in and do that same thing. Be on the look out if you like loud and perfect rock n roll people. Cheers.
For example, the song “Manifest Destiny, PT 1″ was a first take. It was the first time we had all ever played that song together. Then there’s the last song on the record, “True." Jay [Buchanan] and I literally had just talked about the song right before we recorded it."
The authenticity and killer rock vibe is evident on any Rival Sons record. This music is meant to be listened to on vinyl, and as a listener, it permeated down to the cellular level. Just the way music should. The songs are amazing. Pure and rare talent at its finest. 2016 will be a big year for Rival Sons. They will be touring as the opening act for the final Black Sabbath tour. I suspect that this fact alone will launch this band into the stratosphere of the rock universe. They also have already recorded a new album, which will be announced soon I suspect. Be on the look out if you are a rock fan. You won't be disappointed.