Some bands may have trouble with the “difficult second album.” That isn’t the case for Liverpool quintet Revival Black who have followed up their debut Step In Line with a fine slab of hard rock that establishes the band as one of the big guns in the current new wave of classic rock.
Words: Paul Hutchings
As a genre, the NWOCR seems to have no barriers to break its incredible charge, with a plethora of bands, both old and new, vying for the top-dog positions. Revival Black have several weapons in their arsenal, all of which are deployed to good effect on this enjoyable sophomore release.
One listen to Under The Light confirms that Revival Black can write a tune. The opening salvo of Believe, Take You Out and See You Again are all catchier than Covid-19 at a festival. The hooks are memorable, the musicianship top drawer and the vocal prowess of Dan Byrne (who wowed the Steelhouse Festival when fronting for Myke Gray mere weeks ago) magical. In Byrne, the band possess a vocalist whose delivery and range are such that he is destined to become a big player in the scene.
Whilst Byrne is the focal point, the dual guitars of Alan Rimmer and Adan Kerbache are also a key part of the band’s appeal. Sharp and aggressive when needed, they can also bring subtle flicks and heavy riffs. The central pillar of the album is the emotional ballad Hemispheres which sees the band open whilst also slowing things down. It’s a slower track that is done well, so well that it lingers long in the memory.
Under The Light is crammed full of anthemic tracks. They may be slightly generic at times, in that they could be associated with several bands in the genre, but there is enough to make them identifiable as Revival Black. Under Fire and Change My Mind both give enough to be enjoyable and to punch the air as you sing along.
In fact, it’s that good time feel with the harder cutting edge that makes this album so much fun. You can drive to it, work out to it, drink beer to it or simply relax with it on. The tracks are going to be superb live, with the rock-solid rhythm section of Jamie Hayward and drummer Ash Janes anchoring everything.
They leave one of the best to almost last. The raucous anthem Wrong Side is a hidden firecracker, full of spirit and passion, featuring a fabulous vocal performance and some searing guitar work that is sure to wow the audiences on their forthcoming tour.
If you like your new wave of classic rock, it’s likely Revival Black will be on your radar already.
If not, then this is an album you seriously want to get involved with.