Black Water Rising: Pissed and Driven review

\"PissedBefore we begin let me say one thing – is that not the coolest album cover you have seen in a long long time? Artwork aside, when presented with an album entitled Pissed And Driven there’s a certain assumption about the style of music to be found within, exactly what Brooklyn based Black Water Rising were aiming for I feel. Describing their style as “…a collection of soul baring, angst ridden, riff heavy material that is proudly anchored in the foundations of  traditional hard rock song writing”, Black Water Rising are primed to release Pissed And Driven on August 13th. Whilst most bands set out to change the world or ‘make a difference’, Black Water Rising have a much more simple outlook on life, stating that “…they are not looking to reinvent the wheel, they just want to give it a much needed alignment in these musically stale times”, focusing on their music rather than fame and fortune. That said, the first single released from Pissed And Driven entitled Show No Mercy achieved number 5 most added on the CMJ Loud Rock Chart, top 10 positions at many college radio stations, and number 6 on Nationally Syndicated Cable channel Music Choice – so sometimes, the music really does speak for itself. Kicking off with a bass heavy and groove orientated sense of drive from Show No Mercy, the opening moments of Pissed And Driven hammer home the message from Black Water Rising from the word go. Powerful vocals combine with the driven riffery on offer, driving the track forwards and grabbing the listener, leaving them unable to resist the funky and dirty guitar laden sense of straight up hard rock. Matching their statement that they’re not out to change the world, this isn’t a track which pushes convention or tries to be something it’s not, instead taking an established style but refining it, making it their own, and proving that when it’s thought about properly, the result can be pretty spectacular. Further evidence of their drive to “realign” the world of rock is presented in tracks such as the anthemic Last Man Standing, the almost indie feeling Along For The Ride, and the chunky, fast paced The Allure Of Self Destruction, all pushing the album forwards and demonstrating just how much work Black Water Rising have put into developing their style. Catchy without losing its integrity and powerful without being overbearing, there’s a thin line to tread if bands want to appeal to fans of rock and metal, as well as the record buying pop audience, yet Black Water Rising seem to have found the key and put together a record that’s going to appeal to the full spectrum. It seems fitting that as the album closes, the final moments are entitled We Are The Authority, almost as if to remind you that from here on in, Black Water Rising are calling the shots. Whilst difficult to place genre wise, Black Water Rising have put together a record that seems to incorporate hard rock, melodic metal, straight up pop rock, and most of all – rock. With such a range of styles all perfectly fitted onto Pissed And Driven, you can expect to be hearing a lot more from the band moving forwards from here. Rating: 9/10 -Dave Nicholls