"There's a soulfulness and strut which puts them in a different league."
Soulful, maximum-blues-infused hard rock band Rival Sons are gearing up for the September 17 worldwide release of Head Down, their second album for Earache Records, with the U.S. release to follow in November (exact release TBA).The Long Beach, CA quartet have received critical acclaim both in the U.S. and in Europe, where they’re currently on tour, playing festivals and headlining their own shows.
They've already played to massive crowds in Europe at festivals such as Rock Am Ring and Download, and they're hot off a run supporting Guns N' Roses. In the U.S., they were named a 2011 iTunes “Rock Breakthrough Band,” opened for AC/DC and performed at the Indianapolis 500 and the Long Beach Grand Prix. Revolver said “singer Jay Buchanan is an undeniable vocal force (July 2011).” CMJ said: “Listen…with the volume cranked (7/27/11).”
In order to record the follow-up to their 2011 breakout effort, Pressure & Time, the Los Angeles quartet--Jay Buchanan, vocals, Scott Holiday, guitar; Robin Everhart, bass; and Michael Miley, drums--retreated to Nashville, TN after a four–week stint on the road and holed up in a studio with Grammy Award-nominated producer Dave Cobb (Jamie Johnson, Shooter Jennings) and Grammy Award-winning engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, The White Stripes, Kings of Leon).
The band wrote, recorded, and mixed the album in just 20 days, and the band conjured the same energy that made their last album a fan and critical favorite, while time treading new territory altogether. The rawness and immediacy-- textured with a myriad of light and shade--produce powerful results.
Explains Buchanan: “In the code of the Samurai, any decision must be made between 3 and 5 breaths … Writing by that code forces us to act, go with our instincts and really, truly listen to each other. Creatively, you’re bringing your most immediate instincts.” The first single “Keep On Swinging” from HEAD DOWN will be available very soon.
About the album title, Buchanan reveals, "We took a lyric from one of the songs that exemplified the process of making the record. Head Down comes from the phrase, 'Keep your head down and keep on swinging.' I thought it was fitting, and it works perfectly with the album cover."
Painted by artist Jason Holley (Josh Ritter, Ray LaMontagne), the cover evokes myriad emotions—similar to the music. Guitarist Scott Holiday adds, "I began searching for the right artist for our cover on the interwebs, just mulling around, and very quickly came across Jason. I was immediately taken aback by his aesthetic and style and felt he had a few pieces already done that I would be into using. We sent him the record and discussed ideas that we felt reflected the music and process. He created an original piece, painted in oil. The end result is pretty symbolic and interesting—something that, in my opinion, reflects the record beautifully."
Rival Sons' accolades included a stint opening up for legends like AC/DC and Alice Cooper, several USO shows with Kid Rock, and a televised performance in the pit at The Indianapolis 500.
Rival Sons’ full-length Earache debut, Pressure & Time, was recorded in Los Angeles and released worldwide in May 2011 The record quickly charted in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and beyond. And by the time Rival Sons embarked on their first full length headline tour of Europe in November 2011 they’d sold out every UK show, as well as gigs across the continent. The album was voted No.2 Album of the Year by Classic Rock Magazine.