Classic, Classy and Catchy Americana Country Rock
Cain Rising is a British band formed in 2014 by Jim Price. If you are familiar with the 1987 Mike Oldfield album "Islands", you will have heard Jim sing on the UK release of the song "Magic Touch". He has gigged constantly since the 70's and now fronts up this new band with a depth of experience and style only years of playing can provide.
When I spoke to Jim, he said that this album was "60 years" in the making. Well Jim, I can definitely say it was worth the wait. The album was released in May 2016 and is titled after the name of the band. The name itself is a nod to Jim's influences, a twist on Bruce Springsteen's "Adam Raised a Cain". The core of the band is Jim and two members of his previous band "Southside Jimmy", Jez and Jo Parry. Kevin Blake was recruited on guitar and his distinctive country rock style is a big part of the sound. Drums are handled by Paul King. The band gigged the songs extensively before going to record and this is certainly evident in their tight studio performance. In the studio sessions they were joined by Dave Baldwin on keyboards who adds a distinctive Hammond sound.
It's a well produced album that captures the bands sound without trying too hard to overcomplicate things. The songs shine through and the insanely catchy chorus's quickly get stuck in your head.
Opening track The Rain is instant confirmation of the bands intentions and kicks things off in a blustering Springsteenesque style. There is an unmistakably 80's rock band vibe here which continues throughout the album with just a touch of rock-a-billy, Americana and an acoustic ballad or two.
Track two, Jenny Jenny, is a rock 'n' roll blast in Rolling Stones style, as Jim sings a familiar cry, "it's only rock 'n' roll"! The song starts on an acoustic riff before building to it's catchy refrain and bouncy "take me home Jenny Jenny" and is a great slice of country rock.
There's a nice change of pace on the next song Restless, which once again delivers a catchy tune and hook with more than a hint of Bryan Adams about it.
Riding In Another Man's Car continues with a driving Americana style, (excuse the pun) and leads you into the first ballad on the album, Days of Wine and Roses. The lyrics are personal and biographical and show that the band can handle the downs as well as the ups.
There are 11 songs on the album and not a weak track to be heard. After the introspective Days of Wine and Roses the middle of the album picks up again and rocks you with When Johnny Walked the Line. Jim says that the inspiration for the song came after a visit to London's famous Denmark Street where, standing, looking at the walls of classic old guitars gathering dust in a music shop, his thoughts turned to what sort of life those old instruments may have had and whose musical hands they'd past through. It's a classic song full of famous name checks and I defy you not to get the chorus stuck in your head.
From here to the end of the album the joy keeps coming. Save Me kicks off with a big sweep of acoustic guitars and I certainly identified with the lyric "I've got an attitude to make a bad day worse". This was followed by So Wrong, which I particularly enjoyed for its riffing guitar and Hammond driven homage to songs like "Hard To Handle" or "Gimme Some Lovin'".
Jim and the band have made an impressive and accomplished album where the catchy tunes just keep on coming. You can't escape the Springsteen vibe, its like an album he never made, good time rock 'n' roll in an uncomplicated, unfussy and classic vein.
|Clarence Bucaro: Pendulum||Michael Mcdermott: Willow Springs|
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