Kentucky modern rock outfit Black Stone Cherry formed in 2001, but already this young band (all in their mid twenties) have been making waves via radio airplay and printed exposure. On the back of a tour with Hinder,who they incidentally blew off stage at a recent London concert, Black Stone Cherry come from a rich musical heritage. The grandfather of drummer John Fred Young was a founder member of Grammy winners Kentucky Head-hunters and their exposure to many genres of music has influenced their music enormously. Bludgeoning guitars harnessed to a Southern tinge bring to mind Black Label Society, whilst the versatile vocals of Chris Robertson run the whole gamut from John Corabi through to Tom Jones-yes you did hear that right- and Double Drive’s Donny Hamby, a band that were ironically once signed to Roadrunner. Adding touches of old school hard rock bands like Free, Led Zeppelin alongside the more recent traits of say Velvet Revolver, proves that modern rock can still remain fresh and non-homogenised. ‘Lonely Train’ fresh from its 2006 inclusion in the W.W.E’s soundtrack, exemplifies an album that allows guitar solo’s and big choruses, rocking out like a more aggressive Double Drive. ‘Maybe Someday’ is a groove monster, a hard rock variant of The Black Crowes, whilst Robertson sings out of his skin on the pacey ‘When the Weight Comes Down’. This album isn’t for the faint hearted, pummelling the senses with sheer brute force and an enormous amount of self belief; one listen to the thunderous ‘Shooting Star’ or the sharp as a razor ‘Rain Wizard’ tells you all you need to know.
Black Stone Cherry is competing in a market crammed to bursting with plagiaristic bands that ultimately induce a stale feel to the genre. Black Stone Cherry bucks the trend by daring to be different; injecting a soul into a sanitised genre.