There are a plethora of bands these days building their sound around the heyday of classic 70’s FM rock radio, but only a sacred few are not only doing the genre justice, but taking it to all new levels of excellence.
You can add to that very short list Ireland’s The Answer. The band was founded in 2000 and after a few self released albums found themselves thrust onto the world stage with the release of their critically acclaimed debut Rise in 2006.
Flash forward to 2015 and the band have shared the stage with the likes of Whitesnake and Aerosmith, as well as spending almost two years on the road serving as openers for AC/DC and can call legends like Joe Elliot & Jimmy Page fans of the band.
They have also just unleashed their fifth studio album Raise A Little Hell for Napalm Records. The album was produced by longtime collaborator Will Maya, mixed by Chris Sheldon and features artwork by Sebastian Jerke.
Pick up the deluxe edition if you can, it comes with a bonus live cd from the band’s 2014 Road Less Travelled Tour in support of their monster 2013 album New Horizon.
If you’re not yet hip to the band, no worries, the groovy bass lines, tasty power chords and raspy vocals of opener “Long Live the Renegades” and tracks like “The Other Side” and “I Am What I Am” prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that these Irish lads were raised on heavy doses of 70’s FM radio and the bands that ruled over them, making them great.
Elsewhere, songs like “Aristocrat,” “Whiplash” and “Red” are sure to dazzle both fans of Thin Lizzy as well as Swiss legends Gotthard, while at the same time infectious melodies of “Cigarettes & Regret” are equal parts Black Crowes and The Wallflowers, with flashes of Peter Frampton and his talk box for good measure.
“Gone Too Long” is a straight up melodic mainstream 70’s rocker that would have been played in regular rotation then and should be now. The fact that it’s not is criminal, while “Last Days of Summer” is a bluesy 70’s hard rocking revival in the same vein as the mighty Led Zeppelin that pays homage to the soulful vocal stylings of the one and only, Mr. Robert Plant.
Meanwhile, “Strange Kinda Nothing” is as close to a modern rock sound as you will find on the album, with a sound that lends itself to Train, Vertical Horizon or Filter and closer “Raise A Little Hell” is a track that lives up to it’s name that will leave you wishing this was a double album and rabid for the next.
Here’s the bottom line. Had this band or this album come out in 1977, it and they would have dominated the charts alongside their peers of the time.
Rating: 9 out of 10