The Answer

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Revival Review

by Jon O'Brien

After spending 18 months on AC/DC's Black Ice tour and releasing their first two records via the Young brothers' Albert Productions, Northern Irish quartet the Answer loosen their ties with the iconic Aussie rockers by issuing their third album, Revival, through Finnish record company Spinefarm. Fans of their unashamedly retro blues-rock sound shouldn't worry that they've suddenly turned into the kind of death metal act their new label is more renowned for as the follow-up to 2009's Everyday Demons is still chock-full of the kind of mammoth air-guitar riffs, thunderous beats, and rousing dad-rock melodies that have inspired the likes of Joe Elliott and Jimmy Page to sing their praises. Indeed, despite the presence of Grammy-nominated producer Chris Smith (best known for his work with ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and the Dandy Warhols), its 12 tracks are very much rooted in the vintage U.S. rock of the '70s, largely thanks to frontman Cormac Neeson, whose impassioned howls and faux-Southern drawl recall Aerosmith's Steven Tyler in his most drug-addled period, particularly on the country-tinged "Trouble," the blistering grunge-blues of "Tornado," and the melodic duet with Saint Jude's Lynne Jackaman on "Nowhere Freeway." But while their pastiche sound initially possesses a certain no-nonsense charm, the relentlessly overblown guitar solos and repetitive rowdy choruses begin to wear a little thin long before the halfway point is reached, and with only the gospel-tinged "One More Revival" and lighters-in-the-air balladry of closer "Lights Are Down" providing a much-needed change of pace, Revival is just too one-note to be held in the same regard as the rock classics it unashamedly borrows from.

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