”Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea”, is the third studio album from Kentucky natives Black Stone Cherry. It is by far the bands most commercial release, but that isn’t to say the band has lost any of their southern rock groove. In fact the band have progressed both lyrically and musically since the release of their sophomore effort ˜Folklore & Superstition” back in 2008. The album, produced by Howard Ronson, has been one of this year;s most anticipated rock albums and defiantly exceeds the fan expectation with a mixture of rock ballads and head-banging tracks.
The album kicks off with the album’s first single “White Trash Millionaire”, a hard hitting southern rock anthem, instantly bursting with what has become the signature sound of Black Stone Cherry.
The combination of talk-box effects and catchy yet predictable lyrics set the train in motion for the rest of the album. “Killing Floor”, Combines groove rock and grunge which really displays the musical progression of the band, a future rock anthem in the making. “In My Blood” is one of the stand out tracks on the album, verging on southern rock ballad but escapes too much comparison to mainstream radio sell-outs Nickelback by kicking in distorted guitar riffs.
“Blame it on the Boom Boom£, originally produced for whiskey company Evan Williams, is one of the best written lyrically on the album. Its memorable chorus with Kentucky fuelled riffage help it surpass the standard of common mainstream rock radio.
Returning to their mellower side, “Like I Roll” is a musical work of art, with the a feel good chorus and upbeat tempo, it’s a song to roll down that sunroof, crank up the car stereo and drive down the open road. “Can’t You See”, a cover song (original by Marshall Tucker Band), the addition of heavier guitars and stronger vocals the cover is a decent attempt of the rock classic.
“Let Me See You Shake” returns to the signature rock groove sound, the heavy riffs hinting influence from Black Label Society and Alice in Chains. The cliched loved and lost lyrics to power ballad “Stay” feel slightly generic at times but remains a decent track thanks to the big chorus and classic rock guitar solo.”Change”, similar sounding to “Lonely Train” off the bands self titled debut album showcases the raw talent of drummer John Fred Young and stretches the vocal ability of Chris Robertson.”All I’m Dreaming Off”, perhaps a follow up to “Peace is Free” with it’s continuing lyrical theme of longing for a dream introduces the banjo, mandolin and dobro in to the mix, which helps the song stand away from the albums weaker tracks and really helps punctuate the developments as a band. The track is nearly all acoustic, excusing some subtle electric guitar, a different but appealing way to end the album.
Black Stone Cherry has developed musically and lyrically, although touched on a mainstream radio sound, with the injection of groove cutting rock riffs the band holds on to their signature southern sound with this third studio release.
Track listing: Standard Version
Track 2. Killing Floor
Track 3. In My Blood
Track 4. Such A Shame
Track 5. Won’t Let Go
Track 6. Blame It On The Boom Boom
Track 7. Like I Roll
Track 8. Can’t You See
Track 9. Let Me See You Shake
Track 10. Stay
Track 11. Change
Track 12. All I’m Dreamin’ Of
Track 13. Staring At The Mirror [bonus track]
Track 14. Fade Away [bonus track]
Track 15. Die For You [bonus track]