This is a follow up post to my announcement about receiving a promotional copy of Black Country Communion’s self-titled CD last weekend.
I have listened to the CD many times and while I certainly have my favorite songs, every track is a solid rocker that will stand on it’s own. So here we go…track by track:
1.) “Black Country” was the original name of the band (before they added the “Communion” part) and now it’s the name of the opening track. The base line thumps and Glenn strongly states: ”I am a messenger, this is my prophecy. I’m going back to the Black Country” and just like that you are sucked into the swell of a guitar and drum combination that has your chest pounding. It’s a strong statement and the very genesis of BCC.
2.) “One Last Soul” has been getting a lot of airtime because of the viral YouTube video where the band played together after a Bonamassa concert. Glenn takes the vocal lead and slaps out a compelling base line with Jason adding drums a-la perfection. The band really gels on this one. I call it classic rock — totally reborn.
3.) Beautifully melodic and inviting, “The Great Divide” drives you the the next level of rock and blues mastery. Glen combines his superb vocals with a bit of screaming (he is the Voice of Rock!) but it all works well on the ears. Joe lays down a sizzling solo with genius phrasing and tone while Derek scoops everybody up and sets up the next lap. After three tracks, you are hooked.
4.) “Down Again” is a somewhat simplistic and slightly predictable blues rocker. Not to worry though…as the song has an addicting nature. Then just when you think you have it figured out, everything slows dramatically and ushers you back in you seat to revel in the moment.
5.) “Beggarman” opens with a welcoming riff that has a definitive Hendrix accent. The lyrics are very simple ”I won’t be no beggar man…”, and that is the weakest point of the track — perhaps the entire CD. Yet still, it’s a rocking tune and a catchy vibe.
6.) The opening riff to “Song of Yesterday” gently leads you on a stairway to a new kind of heaven. The deliberate beginning gains momentum and breadth and soon explodes into a blues rocker with enough significance to climb the charts. Joe sings the lead and Glen provides strong support. Joe rips off a steaming signature solo midway through the song that is pure Bonna-madness. The song closes with Joe and Glen harmonizing together like a duo that has been together for years instead of days.
[LISTEN TO “SONG OF YESTERDAY”]
7.) My guess is that “No Time” gave Jason Bonham flashbacks. After all, what’s rock n’ roll without a tiny bit of Zepplinesque? It’s 4 minutes of pounding drums and a bass line that drills deep into your ears. Glen’s vocals are passionate and convincing.
8.) “Medusa” is a remake from Glenn’s days with Trapeze from 1970. He says he was “just a lad” and to that I say that the additional years between recordings have added a maturity to his voice that provide tremendous emotion and feeling. Musically, the song closely mirrors the 1070’s version. Another example of how BCC has delivered classic rock to the modern day.
9.) “The Revolution In Me” is my favorite track. Joe carry’s the vocals effortlessly on this hard driving blues rocker — the kind we have become used to hearing from Bonamassa. We finally get to hear Derek play the Hammond.
10.) “Stand (at the Burning Tree)” gives all of the band members a change to shine. Bonamassa hammers out another riff, Glenn adds some way cool vibes to the lyrics and Derek gets to blend much more Hammond into this mix. We are treated to more blistering Bonamassa solo work at just the right times. Lots and lots of everything to go around on this one.
11.) Glenn and Joe team up to share vocal leads on “Sista Jane” — a real rocker that grabs you by the neck and drags you along for the ride. Glenn & Joe pull off some serious vocal magic and just when you think the song will slow down Joe heats up and leads the band with a massive jam that showcase why he is a modern day “Blues God”. He is about to be promoted to “Rock God”.
12.) The closing track, “Too Late for the Sun“, is an eleven-minute-plus jam with Joe and Glenn swapping the vocal lead. While somewhat methodical, this is a great closing effort to an amazing debut album.
It’s hard to believe these guys never really played together (Derek had never heard Joe Bonamassa play until they were together in the studio!) and after seven days huddled with Kevin Shirley, an album with this synergistic quality could be produced. -GuitarDaddy
This CD has not been formally released and my thirst is soaking wet for the next one.