Most blues based hard rock is pretty passé these days. It’s exceedingly difficult to do anything significantly different with a genre whose origins you can trace back to the mid 60s (and even further if you try hard enough). And so when a band does, it makes you sit up and take notice.
Not that The Answer are re-inventing the bluesy rock wheel, that would be nigh on impossible, but there is a definite special something about them that sets them apart from the crowd in a full to overflowing scene. Maybe it’s the fact that they come from Northern Ireland, as opposed to traditional markets such as America, Australia or even England, and have ingested and assimilated their influences a little differently from most of their compatriots.
It’s difficult to know what the answer is to this, (and pardon the very cheesy pun), but the fact remains that this four piece provide something a little different in their rock, and this being their third record, they are really starting to hit their stride as a band. That difference comes in a few forms. They inject a touch of RnB into their sound, as opposed to recycling the same tired old AC/DC inspired riffs over and over in the guise of a song. There’s a little more variety in their sound than the average exponent of the style, with subtle use of female vocals, blues harp, keys and other somewhat unconventional instrumentation, and a general willingness to step outside the established boundaries of the style if it suits the song.
And speaking of songs, they’re here in droves. Every tune amongst the twelve on offer here is killer, no one or two songs stand out as being superior to the rest, and there’s not a skerrick of filler to be heard. It’s obvious that great effort has been put in to craft quality songs across the board, and make them sound good. And what’s more, the exuberance with which they’re delivered is quite infectious, especially in the vocal department. The vocals of lead singer Cormac Neeson are consistently true and absolutely dead on the money, and sung with the passion and vitality required in this style of music.
While The Answer’s first two records were certainly highly enjoyable blues rock affairs, they have really hit the mark this time. Revival is inarguably their finest moment to date, and they may have trouble topping themselves next time. Fans of Led Zeppelin, Cream, AC/DC, Free and their like rejoice.
More from Answer, The
- Everyday Demons [review]