Black Tree Suns – ‘Wash Them All Away’.
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The Plymouth based Black Tree Suns are a band for those whose taste primarily sits in a sea of riffs, a sea not too metallic but rather bluesy in nature while soaring melodic guitars meander around screeching in a refined communication akin to American heavy and Hard Rock, with a strong and unquestionable southern-twang.
The band carry a huge influence from this epoch with names such as Black Stone Cherry and Audioslave first in response to the inner question of ‘who do they remind me of?’. It isn’t just that though as Black Tree Suns casually crossover into and borrow from Punk and Grunge while creating their varied Alternative Rock sound.
‘Jail Cell Charade’ oozes dirty-Blues Rock guitar work fitting with the image its title conjures. Black Tree Suns open with Southern Rock at its best as it slowly nods towards the band’s flirtations with both Metal and quieter more dulcet tones closer to Audioslave around the two-minute mark.
‘Don’t Believe’ is very much a Grunge, Hard Rock hybrid with the stark and classic Guns N’ Roses-esque guitar-work and cumbersome, harsh rhythms closer to Black Stone Cherry finished with Nirvana-laced vocals.
‘Make A Change’ is an older track I am glad made the final cut for the album. Comparisons to Pearl Jam can be made here on a track that stands as one of best due to it slow and weighted development onto faster tempos and a truer form to the band’s self described Alternative Rock.
‘Make A Change’ showed both a faster, attitude-laden Black Tree Suns but also a slower, calmer down tempo side that is further explored – and well I might add – in ‘Fading Storm’. In a well-timed move the band move away from their fun but sometimes gratuitous emulation of American Hard Rock in favour of a more reserved Grunge-led track again akin again to Pearl Jam. In ‘Fading Storm’ the band play far more intricately in the “ballad” of the release and I can’t help but feel it sees them at their best.
‘Wash The All Away’ is very much a sign of the times within the context of this release. The flow of the record edges away from the Hard Rock-Blues it embraces earlier on and leans more onto the band’s clear and already obvious penchant for Grunge musically and the mild socio-political infusions borrowed from Punk. This eponymous track doesn’t leave its early forebears behind however, with strong riffs and another classic lead-twang playing you out.
‘Out Of My Control’ at its penultimate position starts to set into the motion the inevitable return the opening form of the album. This was a given the moment I pressed play but not negatively however, for the deviation mid-album adds enough of a contrast that you enjoy this refined version of the albums beginning more so.
‘(revolution) Revelation’ sees Black Tree Suns have another socio-political rant at the order of things and the influence of finance while simultaneously clearly having the most fun on the release, particularly so at the Punk charged tenacious pace of the 3:38 mark until this riff-laden and neck incapacitating album closes.
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