Words by Dan Schaffel
If the Gallagher brothers of Oasis ever wanted to shed their snotty alt/pop rock image, add elements of Velvet Revolver and Audioslave while crooning the way the Beatles had on certain tracks off Abbey Road, then they would be called The Steepwater Band, and their first album would sound something like Clava.
Blending simplistic, catchy rock riffs with savory solos given just enough space, this band pounds their fists to the ground as one, and shake the core of American bred rock n roll. Songs such as ‘Love Never Ends’ could easily be slid into the Dazed and Confused soundtrack effortlessly, while others like the bluesy ‘Come on Down’ remind one of an off road trip south of the Mason-Dixon line. Yet they keep things insanely fresh with songs like ‘Bury my Burden Deep’, which contains a marching, punk rock chorus that gets any listener stomping in his or her tracks and drifting away in one of the quintessential guitar solos on the album.
Next up is ‘High and Humble’, a song that could become the new opening credits song for Sons of Anarchy. Rocking the slide on the electric guitar, it provokes the listener to dream of seeing Derek Trucks guest appear on it live just once. And just when you thought you’ve heard the climax of the album, they hit you with ‘Won’t Be Long Now’, combining all dynamics of their sound into 5.5 minutes of rock n roll glory and the second longest track only behind the first.
No one that is a fan of rock n roll for even a single song could say that Clava isn’t progress for RNR’s presence in the 21st century. Keep up the good work, Steepwater boys. We’ll all be waiting.
Diamond Day Records
© August 16th, 2011
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