With a name like American Rebel Soul I must admit I had imagined either a gritty Metal band from Texas or a Southern Rock band flying the flag for the South. What I hadn’t expected was a melodic rock opener with a mid-eighties sound and tinges of classic Glam from the seventies – like the Sweet-esque opener ‘Ready To Roll’.
It was, to me at least, a nice surprise and a song that David Kubicek’s clean vocals suit nicely. The remainder of the album you’ll be glad to hear is sweet Southern styled rock but more in the vein of revivalists like Blackberry Smoke than anything from the darker end of the street.
This self-titled album is full of good tunes – from the sweet laid back slick boogie of ‘One Shot’, through the acoustic opened ‘Revival’, all the way to the last notes of ‘Take a Stand’. It’s also an album that has a slick, clean sound, rather than going for a gritty soulful take on the genre. So if that’s your bag then this is well worth a listen.
Standouts for me have to be the slightly different but addictive opener ‘Ready To Roll’ , the classy groove of ‘No Apologies’; the sixties feel of ‘Back Window’; the cowbell and simple stripped back groove of ‘Temptress’ and the breezy but “could have been so much better played faster” closer ‘Take a Stand’.
This is an album of great songs but the more I listen the more I convince myself it could have been so much better with ‘vintage’ production. Music like this shouldn’t sound this ‘clean’.