I was very excited to get my hands on this one! Released on December 1, Brave Rival have just delivered a great rocking party for the Christmas season to come. “Live at the Half-Moon” in Putney is a total blast from start to finish and it takes you directly into the live show with the stage chat, audience sing-alongs and the feel of the performance that gives it a life beyond the track in the studio,
When I have heard these guys before they reminded me a little in studio of Heart, but that might be the auto-suggestion from the double female vocalists. And, on this album there was less of that feel, the band is clearly developing their sound and has grown in confidence and audience over the last year or so. We did cover them a year or so back and Mark and Lorraine have done a piece with them for this months release, but here is the review!
Brave Rival are:
Chloe Josephine: Vocals
Lindsey Bonnick: Vocals
Billy Dedman: Bass
Ed Clarke: Guitar
Donna Peters: Drums
First off, you can buy the album direct from the band here.
Their first album in 2019 was a live album, “Live at the Echo Hotel Music Club,” that hit the stands just before lockdown. If that was an early runner, this one shows greater maturity after being on the road a lot longer, the sound has become more defined, they have added some soul and a bit of boogie, and are all the better for it.
Now for the review:
“Run and Hide” provides this thunderous drum sound and a cry of “are you ready?” It is a great way to begin an album, fast, rocky and full of big guitars, it’s an opener to die for.
“Guilty Love” is a funky number. It was a single that introduced us to the band a year or so back and it’s great its still in the set. It is one of the bands most commercial tracks, full of harmony and a strong chorus.
“Secrets” plays some top notch guitar riffs, has some great guitar moments and the drums again provide a pounding beat underpinning those vocals. Solid.
“Magnetic” – and I feel that boogie coming on! This is one you want to jump about to and where it was once said “Yes sir I can boogie, but I need a certain song,” (Baccara) then this could well be that song! Again the drum sound really nails this one and there are these little guitar moments that made me smile.
“Come Down” has a deliberately slower bluesy feel to it, probably the sound the band are more associated with. It’s dreamy and has more of an old school feel alongside this very powerful vocal delivery.
“All I can think About” is a wistful ballad that is discussed in out feature on the band this month. It takes the mood down low and retains the bluesy feel live.
“Fool of You” has one hell of a vocal intro! It has this big funky sound live and is a song to get you moving and jumping.
“Fairytale” – trapped in a fairytale may just be the most interesting track on the album, and I prompted Mark and Lorraine to ask about in when they spoke to Chloe and Lindsey. It has an underlying rocky sound and these punchy lyrics that chew a few bullets. Lyrically it has these Alice in Wonderland allusions as we head on down the rabbit hole, I liked it a lot.
“Thin Ice” returns to this heavy funk/rock sound. The guitars really kill this one, its a very good track that highlights a band solidly in the groove and loving what they do. It includes an audience sing-along as well which worked!
“Insane” gives a slower rhythmic track that is both lyrically interesting and with another bang on vocal performance.
“Break Me” is such a good track, the vocal harmonies are terrific and the instrumental build up is very creative.
“What’s Your Name” sees the band having fun and closing on a rocker.
I loved the album, they are rapidly becoming one of my favourite new bands. Absolutely a band to watch out for, a lot of talent all round and a class album.
Favourite standout tracks: “Run and Hide,” “Magnetic,” “Fairytale” and “Thin Ice.”
By Stevie Ritson
I hope you liked the review. If you did check out the connected feature (s) we did with the band, and we have so many other great features and reviews, poetry etc on the site. If you want to show your appreciation for your hard work, do buy me a coffee on the donate button! Or look at our merchandise etc and this all helps keep the magazine improving.