Building on the success of their 2015 debut, Baptized In The Rio Grande, and two years of backbreaking cross-country tours, Sons Of Texas set out to stake a claim in the increasingly clustered arena of mainstream hard rock. Straight from the top, their sophomore outing opens with a fast-paced onslaught of taut, scorching riffage and storming tempos, with Feed The Need and Down In The Trenches showcasing a penchant for muscular hooks and big melodic choruses. Forged By Fortitude doesn’t lack might or swagger but it does fall well short of establishing a distinctly original sound. The middle of the album spirals into a punchy mid-tempo morass of generic, guitar-driven post-grunge, although the shout-out fervour of Slam With The Lights On closes the album on a high note. Though undeniably well-crafted, Forged By Fortitude plays it far too safely to mark the band’s breakout moment.