Album Review: Rival Sons – Hollow Bones

A band’s fifth album is sometimes a doubtful subject. New material can sound like old material, ideas can be lacklustre and dispassionate. Thankfully, the same is not to be said about Rival Sons and their new album ‘Hollow Bones’. Formed in 2009, the Long Beach quartet made a name for themselves with their ability to dig at the roots and soul of rock and roll and create a retro rock sound.

Opening track ‘Hollow Bones Pt.1’ ensures there’s nothing to worry about, welcoming Jay Buchanan’s quivering but soulful vocals entwined with falsetto back into the game. This is later brought home by ‘Hollow Bones Pt.2’, treating us to big riffs and reflective lyrics channelling their varied religious beliefs as a band.

‘Tied Up’ has a timeless feel to it and confidence resonates throughout with the crunching drive of Scott Holiday’s fuzzed out guitar which fades out brazenly. ‘Baby Boy’ is carried by the groove of backing chord progressions and the range combined with = the dynamism of Buchanan’s vocal work while ‘Pretty Face’ is a perfect harmonious blend of all their elements combined. The melodious ‘Fade Out’ is gracefully paced and haunting, the percussion being the outstanding, cementing factor.

‘Black Coffee’ is the perfect caffeinated wake up describing a man’s love of the beverage in an incredibly enthusiastic manner. Perhaps it has a deeper meaning but I’d like to think not. ‘All That I Want’ closes the album is proves to be a real tearjerker as it finishes the album in the most tender, endearing manner. Perhaps a little too much of a melancholy finish for such a power packed record, but an absolutely beautiful song nonetheless.

As they’ve proved time and time again, Rival Sons are all about maintaining their classic, timeless sound and of course they succeed. Add this one to your “must listen to” list now.


‘Hollow Bones’ by Rival Sons is released on June 10th on Earache Records.

Rival Sons links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Phoebe Messenger (@kangaezu_ni)

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