Bands with a Southern twang are having a moment in modern rock’n’roll no matter their location, from the swaggering soul of The Temperance Movement to the country boogie of Blackberry Smoke.
Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry have had their own unique take on the twang since their first album 10 years ago: catchy Deep South anthems with a hard rock edge. Aside from becoming slightly more commercial since their self-titled debut, little has changed in the quartet’s sound, and it’s business as usual on album number five. They’ve always specialised in singalong anthems that are equal parts heavy and melodic, and there’s plenty here to rival live favourites like Blame It On The Boom Boom and Rain Wizard.
The impassioned Soul Machine is mesmerising with its backing choir, while first single In My Dreams looks set to be a live anthem. BSC serve their songs with an extra side of cheese, particularly on those slower numbers; ‘Close your eyes and let your spirit smile’, sings Chris Robertson passionately on Darkest Secret.
Cynics may cringe, but these wide-eyed lads are entirely genuine, and the way to take joy in their jams is to leave any scepticism at the door.