Wednesday, January 22, 2014
One Bad Son - S/T
I got turned on to OBS about a year ago, through some kind of Youtube witchery I stumbled upon the video for their song "Scarecrows." I was hooked instantly. Then, after a few weeks of daily listening to that song, I ventured into some other musical rambling (there were missing persons reports for weeks, and something about a giant drug raid, but that's for another time), basically I put them on the backburner after showing them to my friends and some family.
Sometime in December, I remembered them and thought about how good that song was. So, I got myself a copy of their album so I could tell everyone how good it was. And, by God, it is THAT GOOD. These guys sound like what American (they're not American, of course, they're from Canada) Rock and Roll would be if Nirvana had never happened. They have picked up that torch, and brought the genre into the twenty first century. I say that because the music isn't stuck in the 80's; instead, it has grown from it. When I say "American Rock," I'm not talking about bands like W.A.S.P. or Poison, I'm talking about the real heartland hair rock "Americana" from that period. See, there was this undercurrent in a lot of that hair metal from the mid/late 80's; almost a southern undercurrent. Bands like Great White, Jackyl, Tesla, Brother Cane (especially), Dangerous Toys, Junkyard, etc really brought that vibe home, even Bon Jovi and Ratt used it to great advantage. Not just the look, but the music had a more wholesome (no less misogynistic) feel. Not an urban grind, but instead it was beer in your hand, fishing, dirt road rock. Yeah, dirt road rock, I like that.
There are touches of that stuff in this, Sebastian Bach-esque vocals, straight forward beats nod your head off to; but it isn't that, or not just that. There aren't really any fast n' flashy guitar solos, no wanking, no beat-you-over-the-head dick references. The music has been matured from that, to the point that it can express emotion and thought in a way that many of the 80's bands fell short of. Therefore, I can't say that it sounds like any other band, because really, it doesn't.
There are real emotions on this album, like the song "El Camino," it's powerful stuff. And I feel like the listener is effectively drawn down into that quiet moment. It's not just a sudden drop from full-fledged hammering. The song's "London Kills" and "Rustbucket" are absolute killers.
"Scarecrows" is one of the catchiest things I've heard in a good while. Just going to say that and let you listen to it, it's just that good.
Song for song, this album is a beast. Really a fantastic piece of work. And I would feel confident in saying that OBS is one of the best pure Rock and Roll bands in the world after hearing this album. I just wish I could claim these guys were the return of real American Rock, but perhaps that time has come and gone. Look to Canada, or blame it, if you want.