Thursday, July 6, 2017

RIVERDOGS - California (2017)

RIVERDOGS - California (2017) full

Yes ladies & gentlemen, the RIVERDOGS are back... original members Rob Lamothe (vocals, guitars), Nick Brophy (bass, vocals) and Vivian Campbell (guitar), along with long time drummer Marc Danzeisen, have reunited to record their fifth album, "California", to be released by Frontiers Music tomorrow.
Mixing the soulful vocals of Lamothe with the edgy guitar work of Campbell (currently in Def Leppard and LastIn Line) and solid rhythmic lines from Brophy & Danzeisen, "California" marks a definitive return to the sound of their critically acclaimed 1990 self-titled debut album.

Riverdogs’time never quite came. Their 1990 excellent debut album came a touch too late for the LA scene’s golden age, and guitarist Vivian Campbell soon bowed out to join Def Leppard in 1992, not long before frontman Rob Lamothe and bassist Nick Brophy put the project on ice. They reunited in 2003, but 2011’s World Gone Mad is the only recorded result since.
This new album, though, suggests there’s still plenty of juice left in their tank.

Though originally formed in the '80s, Riverdogs really didn't wish to do the whole sleazy glam hard rock and metal thing that possessed that decade. No, they opted for a melodic hard rock with some blues infusion.
To varying degrees, that's what you find within "California".
The blues groove is more present in songs such as 'Something Inside', 'I Don't Know Anything', 'Catalina', and 'Welcome To The New Disaster', one of the finest songs of the bunch.
But there's more variety here.

'American Dream' is a full blown catchy melodic rocker, and rightly kicks off the album. 'You're Too Rock n' Roll' finds Riverdogs in a storytelling Southern California style ala The Eagles.
Then the band tunes into their AOR groove with catchy 'The Revolution Starts Tonight' with its spry riffs, smooth melody, and fine refrain. And the hazy wistfulness of 'Golden Glow' makes for a power ballad that stands far above the lighter-waving crowd.
Then Riverdogs trips you up with 'The Heart Is A Mindless Bird'. Starting soft and sweet in something like another AOR anthem, it slowly rises to rock out with speed and gusto in the end.

RIVERDOGS - California (2017) inside

Campbell’s fret howl makes plenty of attention-grabbing appearances, but what stands out on the record is the power of the songwriting.
Throughout "California", Rob Lamothe delivers in spades his smooth, melodic, and passionate vocals. He's easily one of the best vocalists in the business.
Add to that a warm, bright production and Riverdog's comeback album is a winner, classy rocking stuff plenty of substance.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - American Dream
02 - The Revolution Starts Tonight
03 - Something Inside
04 - Golden Glow
05 - You're Too Rock and Roll
06 - The Heart Is a Mindless Bird
07 - Searching for a Signal
08 - Welcome to the New Disaster
09 - Ten Thousand Reasons
10 - Catalina
11 - I Don't Know Anything

Nick Brophy: Bass, keys, vocals
Vivian Campbell: Guitars, vocals
Marc Danzeisen: Drums, vocals
Rob Lamothe: Vocals, guitar

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