ARTIST:

BLACK STONE CHERRY

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

THE HUMAN CONDITION

(2020)
LABEL:

MASCOT LABEL GROUP

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
Bluesy, Low vocals, Rasping vocals, Southern
""The Human Condition" sees Black Stone Cherry resolutely take a heavy turn with which it gains in power what it loses in nuances."
LOLOCELTIC (25.11.2020)  
3/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Since "Magic Mountain" (2014), Black Stone Cherry has become a machine that releases a record every year or so. Between original albums and cover EPs, the Kentucky quartet never leaves its fans short of ammunition. "Family Tree" (2018) seemed to have definitively set the band on the heights of the Southern rock revival with a protean identity guided by the deep and hoarse voice of its leader. For this opus, the four friends gathered in bassist Jon Lawhon's studio to record it before the confinement. The result is a "The Human Condition" that transpires urgency, but also questioning as you will see.

"People, people, your attention please! I need to tell you all about a new disease". In this particular period, these words that launch the first title, 'Ringin' In My Head', resound with force. Yet this is the music industry we're talking about here. But beyond the words, the music is a real melodic bulldozer that crushes everything in its path. Certainly, Black Stone Cherry is not used to doing atmospheric rock and delicacy is not its main quality, however, on this opus, he takes a particularly heavy turn which, combined with a catchy sense of melody and effective chorus, is not unlike what Nickelback's Canadian cousins are used to offering.

From groovy ('Again' or 'The Chain') to devastating power ('Push Down & Turn' and his personal lyrics dealing with Chris Robertson's anxieties, or the very grungy 'The Devil In Your Eyes'), many of the tracks are worthy of the Kroeger brothers' gang. Even when he sets his foot off the mid-tempo 'When Angels Learn To Fly' or the power ballad 'If My Heart Had Wings', Black Stone Cherry seems to have tailored his songs to compete with the Alberta natives. Beware, we are not in a shameless attempt of plagiarism either, especially since some of the songs move away from this sometimes embarrassing comparison. This is particularly the case of 'Live This Way' and 'Ride' with their hard rock riffs, the latter being downright old school, or the lighter and almost naive 'Keep On Keepin' On'. Note also the cover of 'Don't Bring Me Down' from Electric Light Orchestra which benefits here from a very personalized version in a southern style with a very ZZ Top touch and fuzzy guitars.

Perhaps a little too formatted, although marked by an obvious sense of urgency, "The Human Condition" sees Black Stone Cherry operate a resolutely heavy turn which, if it suits him well and brings him power and efficiency without fail, nevertheless takes him away from the nuances that made the richness of "Family Tree". It now remains to be seen whether Robertson and his band will continue along this path or whether this experience is finally just another proof of the open-mindedness of the quartet whose authenticity still cannot be questioned.


More informations on http://blackstonecherry.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Ringin' In My Head - 4:12
02. Again - 3:55
03. Push Down & Turn - 3:16
04. When Angels Learn To Fly - 4:33
05. Live This Way - 3:20
06. In Love With The Pain - 2:58
07. The Chain - 3:27
08. Ride - 3:17
09. If My Heart Had Wings - 3:15
10. Don't Bring Me Down - 3:59
11. Some Stories - 3:37
12. The Devil In Your Eyes - 3:31
13. Keep On Keepin' On - 3:15

LINEUP:
Ben Wells: Guitares
Chris Robertson: Chant / Guitares
John Fred Young: Claviers / Batterie / Harmonica
Jon Lawhon: Basse
   
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