The Answer – Rise: 10th Anniversary Edition (TAP Music)

Genre: Classic Rock

Where did the last decade go? If you’re The Answer it just disappeared in a flash – albeit in a flash of brilliance that persuaded the doubters that bluesy British rock and roll does, after all, have a glorious future.

Sure, these terrifically talented Ulstermen remain one of music’s great mysteries: five albums in (with a sixth – Solas – incoming this autumn) and they should be an arena-bothering behemoth rather than a hard-gigging club act still searching for that career-defining breakthrough.

That’s a debate for another day. But one thing’s for certain – those who identified Rise as one of the most significant debut albums in classic rock history were dead right. Ten years down the line and this incendiary offering still sounds as fresh, relevant and riveting as it always did. Bundled with re-mastered classics, rarities and alternate mixes it might even better the ballsy original.

Take Paul Mahon on Come Follow Me. In 2006 the band’s erudite founder managed to express his inner Kossof in some style but the re-mastered track showcases a different level of demonic riffing. Suddenly there’s a deeper, warmer sound to the majority of the songs that made The Answer such an exciting prospect in the first place and propelled them far beyond the opposition to bag Classic Rock magazine’s Best New Band title in 2005.

It’s a sound Mahon and co. have been able to adopt and adapt in later years but there’s a genuine sense that this revamped take on Rise has breathed new life into a timeless set of enduring rock standards.

That it’s also available on vinyl – the original release never was – will thrill long-time fans of The Answer. It’s a match made in retro-rock heaven.

Those yet to discover Cormac Neeson’s delicious vocal tone could be accused of damned laziness but let’s not be precious. It’s Never Too Late to open your ears to the best British classic rock band in a generation.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Rise Again