Wednesday, 27 April 2011

BLACK STONE CHERRY - Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (CD)

When you say a band has matured it usually means the energy has faded, the unpolished juvenile glimpse in the eye is gone and you now have a bunch of jaded gentlemen that have cut off the thorns on their musical rose so that no radio listener will get stung by mistake. Well, this is not the case, I assure you, but I will use the term anyway about American southern rockers Black Stone Cherry. And - no, I do not see them as polished gentlemen in starched shirts and hats in hand. The first time I saw and heard Black Stone Cherry I was definitely run over by a musical tornado, at times untamed and on the verge of tipping over. This is however what is now under control. Listen to songs like Change, White Trash Millionaire or Blame It On The Boom Boom and you’ll see there’s no cause for alarm. The energy is still there! The band has always had a streak for great melodies and to write songs suitable for airplay. This album has however received a greater amount of such tracks where some could be seen as a bit too much of a radio flirt, but for some reason I love them! I really like Stay, Won’t Let Go, Like I Roll and In My Blood in the same way I like Nickleback’s radio formatted semi-ballads, where Black Stone Cherry however have a bit more hair on the chest. Where I feel the band has matured is in the way they haven’t just plugged in and played their butts off, but adjusted the sound for what each song needed. There’s a greater variation in solo sounds, from the wah wah wailing in Bame It On The Boom Boom, the fuzzy dirty sound and the baritone/octave riff in Killing Floor to the octafuzz in Change. In the latter and in Shake they have also added an extra melodic guitar phrase which I haven’t heard the band do before. They sure haven’t injected less energy in the guitar playing, but they have adjusted the distortion to fit the song. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea has a dynamic I started feel on the previous album, but which is now in full bloom. I have a feeling this will be the band’s big break through! I sure hope so!

Janne Stark

Label: Roadrunner

Year: 2011

Country: USA

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