Review: Rival Sons ride to victory at 02 Academy

Rival Sons on stage at 02 Academy in Leeds. (Picture by Stuart Rhodes)
Rival Sons on stage at 02 Academy in Leeds. (Picture by Stuart Rhodes)
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By Stuart Rhodes

Rival Sons is the latest American rock band to play the O2 Academy in Leeds.

Formed in 2009 from the ashes of the band Black Summer Crush Rival Sons features Jay Buchanan on lead vocals and harmonica, Scott Holliday on lead guitar, Mike Miley on drums and Dave Beste on bass guitar.

With an impressive five albums already released the band are touring their latest and, arguably rockiest and best album to date.

Entitled Great Western Valkyrie, it brings together a collection of strong songs with a good balance of foot stompers and blues edge in the way that great albums used to be done.

Cutting a fine presence on stage from the opening number the band exude energy and hold the audience right to the closing number. Songs such as Electric Man and Open My Eyes fill with the rip of Scott Holliday’s guitar and wild vocal power of Jay Buchanan. Its hard to see how as the tour progresses Jay’s vocal chords can stand the pace as he screams out the lyrics and throws himself across the stage in true rock god fashion.

Whilst Rival Sons are very much their own band with their own sound its impossible to hear shades of mega rock bands such as early Deep Purple, Free and Bad Company in their melodies.

Slower numbers, Where I’ve Been and Rich and Poor, show just how tight the band can play and reveal a softer side to their rock persona.

Personal favourites Belle Star and Destination on Course are where the band play with a passion and tortured sound reminiscent of the music of The Doors whilst big sounds like Torture get the crowd foot stomping and singing along to the chorus in true rock band tradition.

There is no doubting Rival Sons are an amazing band to see. Should you get chance to see them on the current tour then do so, if not then add their albums to your record collection.

Rival Sons are shades of old school rock done in a modern style that is expertly crafted.