Back in 1990 Riverdogs released their criminally underrated self-titled debut and the music world may well have been a little richer had someone picked up on it at the time, but its that age old story of record label neglect amidst changing personnel. But that’s all water under the bridge now – what’s important is that they’re back and this time around original members, Rob Lamothe (vocals, guitars), Nick Brophy (bass, vocals) and Vivian Campbell (lead guitar), have teamed up with drummer Marc Danzeisen, to record their fifth album, ‘California’ 6 years after their previous outing.
I mention that debut mainly because that’s what ‘California’ reminds you of with Lamothe’s soulful and passionate vocals front and centre it sounds like it could have been cut from the same cloth. If you’ve never heard Riverdogs before then you’re in for a real treat – this isn’t a rekindling of the LA scene from the tail end of the 80’s this is real Blues rock of some substance.
If you like it high energy then opener ‘American Dream’ is the track for you, and one that’s sure to get an outing live. But it’s mid album track ‘The Heart Is A Mindless Bird’ that really ‘feels’ the Blues and sees Lathome at his brilliant best. and whilst some of the tracks here might not stick the first few listens songs like closer ‘I Don’t Know Anything’ is a sing-along waiting to happen. The best though just might be ‘Welcome To The New Disaster’ with some great twin guitar action setting the song alight.
This is an album to play and play again and one that might even bring some new fans into the fold. as far as existing devotees are concerned it’s up there wit that debut.
Nick Brophy: Bass, keys, vocals
Vivian Campbell: Guitars, vocals
Marc Danzeisen: Drums, vocals
Rob Lamothe: Vocals, guitar