The Answer – Revival
Released October 3, 2011 (Spinefarm Records)
01. Waste Your Tears
02. Use Me
04. Nowhere Freeway
06. Vida (I Want You)
07. Caught On The Riverbed
08. Destroy Me
09. New Day Rising
10. Can’t Remember, Can’t Forget
11. One More Revival
12. Lights Are Down
Limited Edition: After The Revival Bonus Disc:
01. Piece By Piece
02. Faith Gone Down
03. Nowhere Freeway (live acoustic)
04. Tailspin (Renegade demo)
05. Fire And Water
06. What I Am (demo)
07. Caught On The Riverbed (alt. steel version)
08. The Enemy (Point demo)
09. Show Me The World (Point demo)
10. One More Revival (live acoustic)
11. Lights Are Down (vocals & piano)
Cormac Neeson – vocals, blues harp, piano and melotron
Paul Mahon – guitar and backing vocals
Michael Waters – bass and backing vocals
James Heatley – drums, percussion and backing vocals
Lynne “Saint Jude” Jackaman – vocal duet (4)
Paully Etheredge – Hammond , keyboards and piano
Chris “Frenchie” Smith – additional percussion, melotron and backing vocals
Zee Asha – additional vocals
Maria Q – additional vocals
Julia Magness – backing vocals
Tracy Todd – backing vocals
Produced by Chris “Frenchie” Smith. Mixed by Chris Sheldon.
With two studio albums, one DVD, and a dollop of lavish praise from Jimmy Page that help land them the support slot on AC/DC‘s Black Ice World Tour, it’s safe to assume that Irish hard-rockers The Answer are familiar with the term Rock ‘n’ Roll!
Having spent the last decade proving their rock credentials, making the sort of life-affirming music that separates the truly great from the merely adequate, the band’s third eponymous effort Revival seems an honest title where vocalist Cormac Neeson is concerned. With a sound heavily akin to AC/DC, what you get is an instant hard-rock revival sensation, teleporting you back to 1981.
“Waste Your Tears” makes for an impressive opening blitz with its distorted guitars and classic rock hooks, while the galloping riff to “Use Me” hits the accelerator pedal, from the point of which there is no return and an impressive solo from guitarist Paul Mahon pulsates into delayed FX. The catchy single “Nowhere Freeway” sees The Answer at their best — a muscular riff drives the song along, while a guest vocal display from Saint Jude front woman Lynne Jackaman adds an extra dimension to an already irresistible, radio anthem of rock ‘n’ soul. Other enjoyable romps that bring an undeniable urge for air guitar include catchy-as-fuck “New Day Rising” and the ear blistering “Caught On The Riverbed”.
Allowing the blues to breathe and dictate the pace, “Trouble” drips with retro flair and it’s through the track’s harmonica astute that memories of Bourbon Street’s Deep South are echoed. “Destroy Me” resurrects the band’s Celtic roots in home brewed folk, and emotions run high in “Tornado” where the magic really kicks in on this record. Doing exactly what it says on the tin, the track’s angular qualities go from melodic verse to heavy chorus, whipping up a flurry of emotion in an instant. Gang vocals and gospel aplenty, “One More Revival” hits the nail on the head and sumptuously chimes an infectious, resonant note, before going out on a soulful high in “Lights Are Down” — offering a Skunk Anansie style, vocal kindred.
Rendered with enough personality to make it all their own, accompanying big melodies, huge choruses, and tight riffs, this radio-friendly record revives the hard and heavy sounds of greats such as AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, proving that they could easily become a stadium band tomorrow. The Answer is undeniably one of the best things to come out of Ireland since Thin Lizzy. Watch this space, as I’ve got a feeling they’ll be about for a long time to come — for those about to rock, they salute you!
www.theanswer.ie – www.facebook.com/theanswerrock – www.spinefarm.fi
Reviewed by Gemma-Louise Johnson for Sleaze Roxx, March 2012
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