Brave Rival Photo Credit Rob Blackham

BRAVE RIVAL aviate Life’s Machine

The bluesy ballad “You Know I Love You” was the first song that 17-year-old Tina sang into a microphone, outside a church setting that is, for public consumption. It was sung for Ike Turner and performed at the East St. Louis Manhattan nightclub, in 1957. It was a B B King number and a lament about broken relationships. Ike had played piano on the original recording.

King himself sang in a gospel choir at Kilmichael. A local minister taught King his first three guitar chords! He practiced guitar between church services. So we know that soul has roots in gospel and in traditional rhythm and blues. While, of course, we know it also shares DNA with electric blues and the thrill of rock and roll. 

The reason we’re talking about this melding of musical cultures is to catch you up with a refreshingly young band that seem to have rejuvenated the same formula that Tina Turner delivered so expressively over her booming career: a flawless convergence of rock, blues and soul.

A flawless convergence of rock, blues and soul…

Raw Ramp Music Magazine

Influenced by the likes of John Mayer, Aretha Franklin, Heart, Fleetwood Mac and of course, Tina, we’ve already described the incredible double-female fronted UK blues-rock ‘n’ soul act BRAVE RIVAL as a: multidimensional experience: a tumble into incredible-ness…

One singer, the flame sorceress, is Lindsey Bonnick. She’s a dramatic, warm, lusty contralto and offers a lot of low, low vocal weight. The other singer is Chloe Dixon, a feisty Alanis Morissette-type performer, who transitions from mezzo-soprano (Ariana Grande-esque) to the highest falsetto you might imagine (think Minnie Ripperton). And she takes the stage with the supersaturated energy of a man-eater.

Accompanying all this superstar potential is Ed ‘The Shred’ Clarke on guitar, with the powerful rhythms of Donna Peters (drums) and Billy Dedman (bass).

Lifes Machine

This rapidly rising blues-rock-soul machine releases their first razzle-dazzle studio album, “Life’s Machine” on May 6, 2022. 

The first track, ‘Heart Attack’ described by co-lead singer Lindsey Bonnick as “a raucous rocker..” is a basket of leather and lace brambles packed tightly against gigantic brawls of rhythm. It has stretchy, catchy bass notes, and delightfully polymatic guitar work. 

Guilty Love” articulates remorse and brow-beating, with brandishments of self-reproach in every screamed heartbeat. The dynamo locomotion of the twin vocals is, of course, gigantic… but the slick, polished rhythms, concise bass notes, and energetic guitar work all add incredible power to this impossibly fine number.

Brave Rival : credit Rob Blackham

The soulful “Without You” has a chunky chord structure and a downward-dip that’s scary as a hellbound helter-skelter. It’s dedicated to that special person in anyone/everyone’s life.  Whereas “Come Down” feels like pain & despair in the moonlight. Yep, this track is sweaty, riparian, and visceral. It’s like being trapped in a dark cellar with a hungry alligator! 

Long Time Coming” sounds as if twangy rock ‘n’roller Chris Isaak has picked-up his Gretsch style Chet Atkins special, pushed Bryan Adams out of the way, and strode across the stage to play a Led Zeppelin sized rock anthem to the all-standing stadium audience. The voice is lower than the anchor shells on Titanic… and that huskiness is equally haunting and heartbreaking! The song is about longing and the pain of being parted from home and family… so you’ll recognise the anguish. Heavens, this is sweet magnificence!

The title track, Life’s Machine, also has a Chris Isaak feel to it. It’s easily the most heartbreakingly melodramatic piece on the album. If this doesn’t make you tearful, nothing will, and sorry to break it to you, you’re probably not alive! Written during the global pandemic, it’s about losing a person in the darkness! Therefore, it is filled with unforgettable drama, overpowering instrumental content, and heartbreaking truth. And this track spans even more genres than just blues ‘n’ soul: it’s a treat for fans of symphonic rock as much as it is a feast for devotees of classic rock and anyone nostalgic for the glory days of mainstream AOR! 

File alongside: Heart or (yes) Journey and, of course, Tina Turner. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Words: @neilmach 2022 ©

Photos : Rob Blackham

Get the album here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.