Every so often there’s a new record which demands more than the Rock Solid treatment, more than a few paragraphs and more than a snap verdict.
In this case we’re talking about one of the first true great rock records of the year as The Answer kick so-called ‘second album syndrome’ into touch and confidently strut towards global superstardom with what can only be described as a classic in the making. As befits an album steeped in 70s blues and 80s hard rock we’ve reviewed the limited edition gatefold vinyl version and that, in itself, boasts its own warm and comforting sound.
The Answer – Everyday Demons (Alberts)
To say this record has been a long time coming is something of an understatement but it’s not as if Cormac Neeson and his colleagues have been doing an Axl and sitting on their arses since the much-heralded release of 2006 debut Rise. Success breeds success, so they say, and as that slow-burner of an album gathered pace the pressure was on to take it to the masses, milk it for every penny and ultimately use it as a weapon to break America.
Somewhere along the way The Answer were invited to tour the world with AC/DC and so it’s a blessing that Everyday Demons has finally seen the light of day as soon as it has. And it is a fantastic, shining example of classic rock given a modern sheen.
The heavyweight vinyl version, both in its throwback look and its retro sound, has the ability to transport fans back to a time when flares were in fashion (they still are in the rushonrock offices), bluesy hooks pulled in stadium crowds and the solos were longer than the lead guitarist’s hair.
Nods to The Answer’s idols come thick and fast but apart from the uplifting Tonight – straight out of the Thin Lizzy vaults – it’s never blatant enough to warrant the criticism that this is a lazy reworking of the past. Lizzy apart, the Irish influences are clear with mention of the Therapy? classic Troublegum in Cry Out and even a U2 feel to the stripped down verses of Why’d You Change Your Mind but both songs belong to the Emerald Isle’s new rock heroes.
Right from the off this record kicks ass and album opener Demon Eyes wouldn’t sound out of place on AC/DC’s Black Ice. It only takes a few minutes for guitar god Paul Mahon to grab centre stage and the first of several soaring solos will send fans of this understated yet incredibly talented muso into raptures.
Too Far Gone has a Lenny Kravitz vibe as riff-fueled funk rock gets its chance but it’s back to straight-out hard rocking anthemy with On And On and you just have to bypass the toe-curling line ‘Doctor take a hammer to my broken heart’… If you can then this could be the singalong favourite to set the band’s future live shows alight.
Paul Rodgers – fan of the band and hero to Cormac – makes his presence felt on Cry Out but the next truly meaty track is the second song on side three of the vinyl edition. Comfort Zone is nothing of the sort for Mr Neeson as his pipes are tested to the limit on a brave but triumphant ballad. Given the right breaks this is the song which could transform The Answer into major players Stateside.
As second albums go this is about as cocksure and classy as they come. If another three years pass by before record number three makes its mark then it will surely test the patience of expectant rock fans everywhere. But Everyday Demons, at least, was worth the wait.
rushonrock rated: 9/10 Answer’s Perfect Answer