Rival Sons- Feral Roots Album Review

Another rock group I haven’t heard of before. Because rock is my favorite genre, whenever I get to discover someone new I am always excited. Hopefully this is a group that I really enjoy and want to hear more from.

  1. Do Your Worst- I really like the lead’s voice. He sounds great on the verses but on the chorus I don’t like it as much. The background vocals don’t add anything and sounds a bit cheap. The instrumentals are groovy, but I also feel like they could be more powerful. This makes me hopeful for the rest of the album because this song isn’t bad but there is some improvements that could be made.
  2. Sugar on the Bone- I like the instrumentals on this but the production isn’t great. It feels staticy which is annoying. I don’t know I guess this is just underwhelming. The vocals are good, but the lyrics feel meaningless rock jabber.
  3. Back in the Woods- This song is about a criminal escaping and living in the woods. Once again the verses are great vocally and lyrically it is just the chorus that lets down the song. It isn’t catchy and the instrumentals die down. This could be great if the chorus was different. I hope that isn’t a constant problem with this album.
  4. Look Away- The beginning instrumentals are very Middle Eastern. It’s very different from their other songs. The lyrics as I understand it are about people watching terrible things happening in other places on the news and not being able to look away but also doing nothing to stop it. The chorus is better because the instrumentals are amped up. His vocals are great. I like this.
  5. Feral Roots- This is very toned down. The guitar is subdued and allows his voice to shine. The song is about going home even though it is bad for you. When the chorus kicks in the instrumentals pick up slightly. It is a good song but something about it is off for me.
  6. Too Bad- I don’t know what to say about this. His voice is great once again. It is a nice song, but I want more. The instrumentals aren’t anything I haven’t heard before and the lyrics are the same.
  7. Stood By Me- Here it is again the curse of the forgettable chorus. The beat is cool but not special. I think this would be much better if the chorus was either more powerful or catchier. For me with rock music I want something that I could either headbang to, sing along with, and/or have a part stuck in my head and I get neither of those things.
  8. Imperial Joy- I really like the guitar on this. I don’t understand the lyrics so there’s that. “The blood running in my veins come from the kisses of 200 thousand years.” What does that even mean? I’m confused. His voice is great, still.
  9. All Directions- This song doesn’t go anywhere lyrically. It leaves 2 minutes of instrumentals where you are supposed to reflect on the lyrics, but there are so many mixed messages in the song that is gets too deep to the point that it might not be deep at all.
  10. End of Forever- This song is about the end of a relationship where the promised they would be together forever. The rhyme heartbreak and earthquake is shoddy. The sentiment is overplayed. I don’t like this very much.
  11. Shooting Stars- The chorus adding backup vocals makes sense due to the themes of peace and love. The last two songs are about love but the other songs did not have these themes. It feels random. It’s good for the last song on the album but it doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the songs.

Overall, I was mainly underwhelmed. When I saw the group I was excited because the lead, Jay, in some photos looks like Jim Morrison. I know that shouldn’t have made me think that their music would instantly be good but that’s what my heart told me. The songs aren’t bad, but they aren’t memorable and some often had strange production choices. I’m going to give this album a C.

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