(8/10) A new Black Stone Cherry album is like walking on a slagline. If the sound of a new record moves a bit too much towards the left it will become too much mainstream and too little rock. And if the movement is a bit too much to the right it gets too heavy for some fans the band gained over all these years. Especially with having the latest 3 Doors Down output in the back of my head, I was very curiously looking forward to see if Black Stone Cherry can keep the balance between commerciality and own roots.
After having listened to "Kentucky" I can confirm that the four-piece is in balance. It might be true, that the Southern rock moments moved a bit towards the back, but the new longplayer is still full of heavy alternative rock/metal tunes that stand like a rock. The new songs are dynamic and energetic, built on powerful guitar lines and a tight team play between the four band members. It pays back that Chris, Ben, Jon and John are playing together already since many years, something that gives the sound a certain continuity.
Songs that stand out on "Kentucky" are "In Our Dreams", a track which is a bold smasher that starts, after a short acoustic interplay, with a mighty riff. This tune is rolling over you. It's a well-done mid-pace rocker with a bridge that reminded me of Nirvana.
Black Stone Cherry covered Yardbird's "Shapes of Things" on their debut and also this time there is with "War" a cover song on the the album. Black Stone Cherry took the Edwin Starr's classic and created a rocking version that comes with a lot of power and has a good punch. The lyrics speak for itself and they are so much valid nowadays, still.
The silent moments can be found back on "Kentucky" too. "The Rambler" is one of these soulful songs, this time written in cooperation with Shinedown guitarist Jasin Todd. The songs got even more emotional depth knowing, that Chris Robertson lost his grandfather while the guys have been in the studio.
"Kentucky" became an emotional album of a band that got mature without losing the rebelious spirit of rock'n'roll.
- The Way of the Future
- In Our dreams
- Shakin' my Cage
- Soul Machine
- Long Ride
- Cheaper to Drink Alone
- Rescue Me
- Feelin' Fuzzy
- Darkest Secret
- Born to Die
- The Rambler
Label: Mascot Records
Genre: Alternative Metal
Release Date EU: April 1st, 2016