Rival Sons
Pressure and Time

01. All Over the Road
02. Young Love
03. Pressure and Time
04. Only One 3:18
05. Get Mine
06. Burn Down Los Angele
07. Save Me
08. Gypsy Heart
09. White Noise
10. Face of Light

Jay Buchanan – vocals
Scott Holiday – guitars
Robin Everhart – drums
Michael Miley – bass

Before the Fire (2009)


Produced by Dave Cobb
Cover art designed by Storm Thorgerson
Recorded & Engineered by Pete DiRado
Mixed by Mark Rains
Mastered by Pete Lyman

Released 24/6-2011
Reviewed 11/7-2011


The first thing that strikes me when I see this album is the look, the cover artwork is really intriguing with the same reflection over and over in the head of a bald guy in some dark stairs. This is something that for me seemed to reflect a progressive album, an album with a dark atmosphere and adventurous in lyrical and musical content. Looking at the cover art designed by Storm Thorgerson surely invoke thoughts and challenge the mind, at least if your mind works in the same twisted way as mine.

Does this cover artwork reflect the music? I think it should do that, which is why I ask myself this question and the answer is that it is not really doing that. The music of this album sure is a reflection but not in the same fascinating way as the cover art would suggest. The music is more of a reflection of times that has come and gone, long ago. I think it sound more like something that was recorded in the seventies than something that arrived this june. Think Led Zeppelin, tracks like Black Dog or Communication Breakdown or something similar, that is more or less how this band sound. The production actually also sound like it was conceived a long time ago. A nod to a time long gone is what it can be described as. Another thing that seems to be backing this theory of time machinery is the length of the album, it is short enough to easily fit on a vinyl record which is always good, 31 minutes is the exact time.

This album has mainly gotten very good reviews, critics seem to have liked it. This makes we wonder if the reviewers are more nostalgics dreaming back to a time long gone rather than actual critics. Sure the album could of course be really good as well, those things happen as well. On my part though, it is a good album with lots of energy, it is well made and very compact with its short length. All songs are well written and some of them like Burn Down Los Angeles to name one are really good.

All aspects are not that positive though, it sounds a bit out of date even though it was recorded just recently and released just now. Another thing is the fact that I like bands to move their own way, inspirations are one thing but this feels like it is just using a template being put up long ago and just putting their own words into these templates and for me that is not exactly the perfect thing to do. For me a good band, or rather a great band, is finding new ways and breaking new ground and that is something that Rival Sons isn’t doing, they do what they do well but that is not enough to be great.

I still have a positive view on this album as the music is good, the songs have energy and work really well. Also there is a bit of a nostalgic nerve to it, which is nice for a while. Another good thing is the shortness of the album, just over thirty minutes is a good length for an album of this kind. There is no time to get bored and the good songs remain good and the feeling stays positive when the album comes to an end.

Pressure and Time is a really good album which I like, especially the track Burn Down Los Angeles is great but in the end I end up with the feeling that I have heard it before. There is nothing new, nothing unique with Pressure and Time and it feels even the first time like I have heard it before, many times. So it is a good album that lacks any kind of imagination and this music was outdated in the eighties. The lasting impression of this album is that it feels out of date.



Label: Earache/Sound Pollution
Three similar bands: Led Zeppelin/Free/Black Crowes
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm