The Answer - Rise
Review by Jack Foley
NORTHERN Ireland’s The Answer have already been hailed by Kerrang as superstars having developed a reputation for themselves at festivals such as SXSW and in support of bands like Deep Purple and Therapy.
They will also tour with Whitesnake later this year and appeared at the Download Festival.
That alone should tell you the type of sound to expect – big rock anthems that should appeal to air guitar fans and anyone who gets a musical kick from flexing their fingers in the shape of devil horns.
The band is comprised of Cormac Neeson (vocals), Paul Mahon (guitarist), Micky Waters (bass) and James Heatley (drummer) and based on the strength of their debut EP, Keep Believin’ in July 2005, they are already being tipped as potential breakthrough acts of the year in this genre.
Certainly, their style is all about delivering classic rock ‘n’ roll anthems in the style of Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy – records that are big on grandiose values, wailing lyrics and frenzied guitar solos.
But they also draw from contemporary influences, too. Of the tracks worth mentioning on the album, Preachin’ is an expert fusion of hard rock values, slide guitar and gospel that works just as effectively as when bands like Razorlight and The Killers have used it to augment their genre sound.
Memphis Water is a joyously old-fashioned slice of blues rock that recalls the very best of Jeff Healey and co, while full steam ahead numbers like Sometimes Your Love and Leavin’ Today impress simply because of their no-nonsense delivery.
This isn’t a band that’s gimmicky in the way that The Darkness is – even though some of Neeson’s vocals are as wildly outlandish as Justin Hawkins’ most high-pitched stuff.
Instead, The Answer sincerely go about updating and reviving the old rock sound. Hence, die-hard rockers who still pine for the heyday of Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy and co ought to dust off their black leather jackets, let their hair down and seek out The Answer’s next live shows.
It’s loud, proud and – in the case of album highlights Preachin’ and Memphis Water – a worthy addition to its genre.
Some of the tracks struggle to impress in the same way that the stand-outs do but the air guitar brigade will probably be having too much fun mimicking the power riffs to realise…