Taking us back to the roots of true Blues, ‘Devil On The Loose’ is the debut album from Black River Delta set for release on 4th March 2016. Hailing from Sweden, this strong trio spent their summer locked away in a small wooden cabin near their hometown, using borrowed equipment in order to begin recording songs for what would later become their first studio album.
From first hearing what these guys had to offer, the abundance of recognisable and iconic sounds was crystal clear. From the early South American Blues right up to modern Blues Rock acts of the 21st Century, there’s a great fusion which ties together musical history and what we’ve achieved since the original appearances of Blues and Rock perfectly.
Follow You Down is the first single release by Black River Delta and can be seen in video below.
This song is one of the more Rock based tracks on the album, and has a similar sound and styling to Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band. In a way it’s an odd choice for portraying the album, but does work well in expressing how it’s still possible to gain a dominant and broad sound from a Blues trio.
It seems to have become an expectation that any band connected to both the Rock and Blues genre will at some point produce a song that revolves around the devil, in some shape or form. Personally, I never tire of it, no matter how cliché it may seem, in a way I see it as an obligation. So here we have it, Devil On The Loose, the title track to the album. From the slow timely bass drum, slide guitar, welcome addition of mouth organ to the harmonised vocals, this song gives you everything you truly expect from a rooted Blues song and has a very recognisable tone, distinctive to artists such as Ry Cooder.
Darkest Of Hearts opens with a fiery guitar lick, which reminds me a whole of the intro to ZZ Top’s Gotsa Get Paid. This then opens up into that retro sound heard from current artists like Black Keys but with a much livelier existence of power. The song develops and becomes much more intensified, all of which is lead by an aggressive guitar riff that builds all the way to the final climax.
One of the most outstanding tracks on the album has to be Ghost. Start to finish, this song is hypnotic to listen to, with it’s slow and heavy tone and accentuated slide guitar. It’s a seriously eerie song, which I’d love to see as a live performance, as it comes across so well-staged and engrossing.
The closing song Troubled Roads is a mellow track, which contains crisp unwinding guitar picking, accompanied by vocals that resembles the blue-eyed soul of Paolo Nutini (not to be taken as a direct comparison mind you!). The movement into this track, and the perfect fading melody make this a top song to finish on, which paints further layers of what this band can produce.
There is such a contrasting array of sounds within this album, any listener that is a fan of early Blues is bound to find a track that they can relate to. Sure, there are particular tracks that I would personally like to hear more of, but in a way, a debut album with such a range is the ideal approach to begin, as it allows the band to find their sound, as well as reach out to a wider audience.
Recommended Track – ‘Broken For Years’
If and when Black River Delta manage to make a name for themselves, I personally believe it will be with this track at the forefront, and a sound they should focus on. Similar in structure and sound to Canadian Blues Rockers July Talk, this certainly holds a more Rockabilly meets alternative Rock vibe, which packs more whack with heavy stomping drums and a distorted bass line that compliments the husky deepened vocals.
A Buried Man
Follow You Down
Devil On The Loose
Darkest Of Hearts
Broken For Years