Release Date – September 29th 2023
Chris Robertson – Vocals/Guitar
Ben Wells – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Steve Jewell Jnr – Bass
John Fred Young – Drums/Backing Vocals
1 – Screamin’ At The Sky
2 – Nervous
3 – When The Pain Comes
4 – Out Of Pocket
5 – Show Me What It Feels Like
6 – R.O.A.R (Raindrops On A Rose)
7 – Smile, World
8 – The Mess You Made
9 – Who Are You Today?
10 – Not Afraid
11 – Here’s To The Hopeless
12 – You Can Have It All
What do you get from Black Stone Cherry? Huge guitars, massive drums and those roaring soulful vocals from Chris Robertson. On this one the guitars seem bigger, the drums seem monstrous, and those vocals seem to hit home harder especially with the subject matters written about – hopelessness, worthlessness and real emotions. The album was recorded in a 1,200 seater theatre in their home state of Kentucky. The control room was in the basement and the ‘live’ room was the stage area, so it feels really live. It’s also the first record with new bassist Steve Jewel formerly superb southern rockers Otis.
Standby to be rocked as the first chords of the title track come crashing in on top of a massive groove and one of those vocal melodies that write so effectively. ‘Nervous’ is another heavyweight that eases off on the verses before banging out the chorus before more of the same on ‘When The Pain Comes’. ‘Out Of Pocket’ sounds poppier but its still arena sized before the rattling ‘Show Me What It Feels Like’ leads to the semi-ballad ‘Raindrops On A Rose’. ‘Smile, World’ is sleazier and punchy then the next two ‘The Mess You Made’ and ‘Who Are You Today?’ get kinda southern and could be easily countrified. ‘Not Afraid’ is big and grungy before another powerful ballad ‘Here’s To The Hopeless’ which has a stirring solo from Ben Wells. Final cut ‘You Can Have It All’ is a grower but it gets there.
For me, this is a return to form for Black Stone Cherry. When they first appeared, they rocked hard, but I felt they lost their way a bit later on. Bands usually release blues albums when they run out of ideas however on this, I think they’ve found their mojo again. Going through personal issues usually ends up with creativity as a release and I think that’s what’s happened here. The subjects are dark and uncomfortable, but they are set to a joyous upbeat noise that’s heavy loud and wonderfully melodic.
Check out our interview with Chris Robertson here in support of the new record!!!
Written by: Smudge