The British husband and wife blues-rock duo WHEN RIVERS MEET will release their debut album ‘We Fly Free’ on Friday 20th November 2020. The first single taken from the album titled “Battleground” was out last week. It’s a granulose and thrilling thrum with rawboned rhythms, a deepwater groove and huskily smoldering vocals.
Their signature vocal approach to songwriting, with grungy electric guitar, burgundy rhythms, and a dizzying, resonant mandolin, help deliver a sense of contemporary minimalist blues rock legitimacy along with a fresh integrity that ignites the spirit of classic 1970s rock, but also points to the 30s blues sound that evidently inspires them.
Grace Bond (voice, mandolin and violin) and Aaron Bond (voice, guitar) are assisted by bassist and producer Adam Bowers (also drums, organ, piano) with Robin G Breeze (bass, organ, piano) and this authentically vintage ‘n’ rootsy-sounding album was recorded at Bower’s own Boathouse Studio in Suffolk, England.
These two indefatigable and enterprising ‘Bond villains‘ have something of a Bonnie & Clyde vibe about them, so it’s perhaps not surprising that the album starts with the rattle and clack of a miscreant song, titled: “Did I Break The Law?” with its gruelling and pummelling bottleneck guitarwork, acrimonious hollow screams of pain and scraping percussion. It has all the character of a bootleg hoodlum on the run, and comes across as dark as a smokestack.
“Bound For Nowhere” is equally dark and knaggy with tatty drums and splintery pulses. This has a psychoactive charm.
The lead vocal line on “Walking On The Wire” is taken by Aaron, and this song sparkles with edginess. It delivers bleak shadowish riffs and brings dark wallows of guitar into a souring — yet magically afforested — landscape that conjures-up the sounds we once associated with late 1960s Led Zeppelin (albeit, in this case, with an Anne Bredon-style vocal.)
The title track “We Fly Free” is a gigantic walloper with great clobbers of drum, badgering bass-notes, glops of flocculating guitar and miaows of extolling vocal. Gosh, it’s good!
If you like your blues to be best served with loads of gob, bitumen, smear, creosote, and undeniable passion, you will treasure this. Highly commended!
File alongside: Kill It Kid, Gillian Welch / David Rawlings
Words: @neilmach 2020 ©
Main Photo Credit © Terry Crouch