SEPTEMBER ALBUM OF THE MONTH
As debut albums go, this record doesn’t need the hype machine, it just needs to be played once and it will grab you. With ‘Step In Line’ Revival Black mark their arrival in thunderous, emphatic fashion.
People that listen to my Friday radio show will know all too well that my thing is not so much classic rock as looking out for young bands that are trying the push the boundaries of rock for a new era and a young audience. That said, when albums like this land, I take my hat off, pour custard on it and eat it. This Revival Black album is totally unapologetic in its classic rock inspiration and influence, but the execution makes it a flawless masterclass in energy, intensity and passion.
The album is raw and alive – and one can feel the band had a lot of fun making it. There’s natural chemistry here that you can’t invent in post-production or the editing suite. Over and above what you hear with the individual tracks, there is a unifying essence that breathes life, urgency and power into what you hear. It’s this essence that gives the album a clear character and will hook you on a first listen.
‘Step in Line’ really is a shining case study on the importance of how an album is made – rather than the critical merits of individually produced radio singles. The album was recorded over a number of studio sessions with the band wanting to capture their live sound. What results is muscular and primal. The guitars have been tuned-down, which opens the door for a tour-de-force in direct music that is heavy, raw and intense.
Daniel Byrne is the new addition to the band and this fine debut album captures the fresh chemistry that sometimes just happens when a tight unit welcomes in a new creative force that can bring in new ideas and fresh impetus. The vocal performances throughout the album give it a new dimension – a vocal that has a rough, growling edge and will then surprise you with its dramatic range.
I’m refraining from a track-by-track review of this album because I think it needs to be appreciated as an album. The singles that have been released to date give a clear taste of what’s to come. They’ve all been featured on by Friday radio show and organically garnered listener requests for repeat plays, which indicates that when this music is heard – people react to it.
The standout for me on the album is ‘Midnight Oil’ which we gave an early spin a few weeks ago. In my mind, this is an under-stated opus. The mood is arresting, the intensity is gripping and it naturally builds. It’s a song where the tone, mood and emotion all align giving a real assault on the senses. Masterful.
The opener and closer are also worthy of mention – the first and last are often songs that people remember. With ‘Wide Awake’ I was reminded of the ingredients that made those Guns R Roses stadium rockers so great and timeless. This song will become a feature opener of future Friday rock shows I have no doubt. The closer ‘Step in Line’ is a great rallying anthem – capturing the rock n roll spirit of enduring, protesting and standing together as a community.
I remember meeting the band at Wildfire Festival in June. I was impressed by how friendly and together the band was as a unit. They then blew the main stage apart about an hour later, one of the talking points of the weekend. Revival Black are in their hearts a live, performance band and what they have bottled with this fine album is the spirit of live performance on a studio album. Based on the strength of this album and the live stagecraft that underpins it, here we have a band that I fully expect to be a ‘must book’ band for 2020’s festival season.
Step in Line is available for pre-order at www.revivalblack.com and is released on 11 October 2019. The 10-song album will also be available worldwide via all streaming and download platforms, with physicals CDs distributed by Cargo Records.
Check out the band’s website also for details of the album launch gig at the Zanzibar Club, Liverpool on 5 October.
As we wait for release date, for the month of September, I will be playlisting three album tracks across my Friday rock shows and broadcasting a feature interview from Wildfire on the story behind the album
Follow the band on socials
- Wide Awake (4:21)
- So Alive (3:43)
- Give You The World (4:34)
- No Secrets, No Lies (4:18)
- Midnight Oil (5:30)
- All I Wanna Do (4:45)
- Hold Me Down (3:49)
- Silverline (5:09)
- The River (4:42)
- Step In Line (4:27)
Media enquiries to the band’s management agency, TMR.