Black State Highway
Here at Rockgig we get sent a lot of different styles of music to listen to.
Rarely do you get blown off your feet by a new band with a debut cd as soon as you hear it.
Earlier in the year Seventrain's cd did just that and now without warning Black State Highway can be added to that list.
Formed in Brighton at the Institute Of Modern Music the band consists of Latvian singer Liva Steinberga , guitarists Ollie Trethewey and Yonnis Crampton and the rhythm team of bassist Gordon Duncan and drummer Harry Bland.
Their 8 track debut cd is due to be released on August the 18th on Hear No Evil / Cherry Records and will be preceded by the single " Ain't Got No " which is released on August the 11th.
Hearing music this good before it is released makes this job a pleasure. Each time I have played it I pick up on a vocal nuance I missed last time , a riff, a solo, a drum pattern and each time I like it even more.
This is classic rock from any age where the riff leads the way. Blues laden rock with rhythm's that just want you to shake your head and smile manically. The band also know when to take it down a notch with some wonderful light and shade thrown in, knowing when all the band then kick back in it sounds twice as loud. Brilliant.
" Conclusion " starts the cd in fine fashion with an AC/DC style riff to the fore and some bobbing bass and Liva's smokey vocal showing some real class. The first of many superb guitar solo's just adds to the mix with a nice melodic tone which sits perfectly with the heavy guitar riff .
Next up is the first single " Ain't Got No " which is driven on by some great drumming from Harry Bland and another kick ass riff with the first touch of light and shade thrown in before all the band kick in and Liva tells her man she can't trust him and she won't wait around for him.
" Broken " is an track that starts with a picked melodic riff and a breathless vocal from Liva before the band start a slower riff. A real bluesy feel to this with the guitar solo in the middle just wonderful. Just when you think it is going to stop they add another part to it because they can.
Bands in this stage of their career shouldn't be able to write songs this good and it will be great to see where they take it when it is played live as it has that epic feel to it.
" Free " starts like early Black Sabbath before the mid point takes it down to a picked riff that builds and builds while Liva sings her heart out again building all the time. The band then take us on a musical journey that leads to a crescendo. Another song that will kill in a live setting.
" Sacrifice " is built on a start stop riff with a bass and drum pattern to die for. Liva puts her heart and soul into her vocal before another band rumble that reminds me of Black Stone Cherry at their finest.
" Tekkers " has another AC/DC feel to it with a chugging riff and the band again use a stop start style to the riff that just makes it kick in every time a little harder. Another extended superb picked solo just fits the style of the song perfectly and has about 3 different endings to it as it morphs into a quality moment..
" Common Man " has a real bluesy heavy riff swagger to it with more light and shade thrown in for good measure. More lengthy guitar soloing with both guitarists showing their class.
" Trouble " rounds the cd out in style with a big riff and then it changes to a rolling riff before a stop start riff over the chorus. Such quality guitar work from such a young team makes you wonder what they can produce over a whole career if they are this good on their debut cd!
In 35 minutes Black State Highway have put down a marker.
They say look at us listen to us and have produced one of the best debut cd's I have heard in a very long time.
Classic rock music says it all.
The band play an album launch show at The Alley Cat Denmark Street in London on August the 14th.
Sadly I can't go but make sure you do to say I was there because in 20 years time a lot of people will say they were!!!