With their latest release, rockers ‘Kris Barras Band’ aim to reinvigorate an old school rock ‘n’ roll sound. With their blending together of genres such as Country, blues and folk, they embody the spirit of American rock ‘n’ roll, both the good and the somewhat questionable.
Opening the album is track, ‘What You Get’. It immediately kicks off the album with a cacophonous blend of bluesy tones and hard rock aggression. It embodies the old-school American tone that permeates the record, serving as a tribute to guitarists of the past. The album picks up the pace as track, ‘Broken Teeth’ comes screaming out of the gate. With a faster and harder sound, the track propels the album forward. The inclusion of the backing banjo gives the track an undoubtedly country and western sound.
The American influence upon the album becomes truly apparent with track, ‘6AM’. The track sounds highly reminiscent of artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, within its dirty rock and roll tones. Following track, ‘Rain’ takes the sound in a highly different direction. The track creates a more acoustic, heartfelt sound. Ditching the bluesy rock ‘n’ roll for a softer and more tender sound, it demonstrates a rarely heard side of the record. It leaves the listener pining for more moments of tenderness within the record rather than the onslaught of rock fuelled riffs.
Within the closing stages of the record, yet more genre influence is felt, in-particular with track, ‘What A Way To Go’. It incorporates more elements of traditional glam rock sounds. This permeates with the track, perhaps the best example coming with the slash-esque guitar solo that closes out the track. Closing the album is track, ‘Pride Is Forever’. It sees the album off with a softer, more soulful track. It differs from the albums traditional sound in the best way. It sounds somewhat reminiscent of an old-school Paul Weller cut. Closing the track is again a shredding guitar solo, undoubtedly fitting for a record so entrenched in an old-school rock ‘n’roll sound.
Kris Barras Band’s ‘Light It Up’ is a record of two halves. It is undoubtedly a fitting tribute to classical, western rock ‘n’ roll. Although the skill and musicality of the performers shines through at points, it’s hard to state that commonality of the tracks shredding guitar solos doesn’t wear a little thin toward the closing stages of the record. However, the record is, at its heart, a tribute to the hard-rocking sounds of the past, and an unquestionably strong tribute at that.