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Black State Highway: Black State Highway

Rock school alumni nail off-the-peg blues rock.

It seems as though every hipster whippersnapper these days is raiding their parents’ record collections and closets to jump on the heavy blues-based rock bandwagon. But before you balk at the thought of another band joining the trend, let Black State Highway remind you that there’s life in it yet.

Though for some unfathomable reason Rage Against The Machine are namechecked in their press release, they are pure riff-rockery, and it’s no surprise to learn that they met while studying in Brighton’s Institute of Modern Music; their debut is technically adept and notably polished, and from the Black Stone Cherry-style swagger of groovy opener Conclusion to the rocking stomp of Tekkers, they prove they know how to write a solid tune.

Leading lady, the Latvian Liva Steinberga, boasts a similar timbre to Blues Pills’ Elin Larsson that’s less soul and more rock’n’roll, her raw vocals fitting perfectly alongside the groovy guitar work. A seriously strong debut.