05
Jun
13

Album Review: Son

522131_451431511600690_380813415_nThe Down Lizzo:

I got a hold of the Pretoria-based band Son’s self titled debut album a few weeks back through my main man Guitar Jon who happens to be the bassist for the band and I must say, personal affiliations aside, the guys have put together an impressive debut by anyone’s standards.

While their sound is undoubtedly rooted in the 90s, there’s enough breadth to their songwriting and raw musical talent in frontman, guitarist and vocalist Heinrich Van Heerden, bassist and backing vocalist Jon Pentreath and drummer Keegan Oxley-Oxland to keep things interesting.

There’s also a healthy dose of blues, slide guitars and southern rock in their material which also helps define their unique sound.

Sick Tracks:

As far as album openers go, “Kitchen Tiles” rates right up there with a track like Live’s “Rattlesnake” in terms of grabbing your attention and setting the scene from the get-go.

Slow, brooding and moody, the haunting slide guitar and husky vocals from Hein induce an almost trance-like state that snaps shut like a bear-trap as the drums and bass guitar kick in.

“I don’t want to hold your hand” has some of the most epic drumming this side of Soundgarden’s “Spoon Man” (Keegan is no slouch behind the kit, his beats and fills are tight as a nun’s… moral code) not to mention some truly face-melting moments when Hein shreds the hell out of his guitar.

 

 

“Reflection” is also a winner. The verse riff is pure hook – lean, mean and oozing sex, the track builds to another fret-shredding climax only to simmer down and come apart in a squall of bass and scattered drum beats.

The best track on the album by a country mile is “Think It’s Time”. From the first few slow opening notes it’s immediately apparent that we’re dealing with a different beast altogether here.

And what a beast it is. Hein coaxes these tortured, distorted wails from his axe like a demon lover. He takes his sweet time while Jon shadows him on bass, laying down slow and steady basslines like a canvas for Hein to splash paint over with reckless abandon. It truly is a thing of beauty.

 

 

The album takes a far more introspective turn after that point. The band give the songs some room to breathe and the results are immediately noticeable. What starts off as an album crackling with frantic, wild energy simmers down with the epic slow-burners “Deep River” and “Let Me Be Your Man”.

The closer “Interesting Times” is brutal in its honesty and poignant in its simplicity. Hein flips his vocal tone switch from “Jack White” where it’s set for most of the album to “Leonard Cohen” for this last track, a perfect end to an intriguing debut.

Should You Give A Shit?

Considering the calibre of a lot of other South African bands that are enjoying a shitload more popularity than Son is at the moment, the answer to that question is dead simple – yes, you should give a shit.

 

 

Though tracks like “When I Need You” and “My Body” are literally bursting with energy and will no doubt get the crowd jumping when Son throw down live, I found the slower tracks more interesting and a lot more indicative of what this band has to offer.

If this band has the stones to keep fighting the good fight, I’d bet my bottom dollar that the follow-up to this debut is going to be a massive game-changer in every way.

That’s not to say that their self-titled debut is anything to shrug off, it’s a solid album that you can listen to in its entirety on the band’s Soundcloud page, but my gut feeling is that this is just a taste of what this band can do.

Here’s “Reflection” to give you guys a taste of what Son are capable of:

 

 

Their official album launch is on the 29th June, for all the details, check out Son’s Facebook page here.

Final Verdict: 7/10

-ST


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