Album review: BLIND RIVER – Made Of Dirt

BLIND RIVER - Made Of Dirt

Bandcamp [Release date 25.05.20]

The New Wave of Classic Rock is a movement that has captured both old fans and new alike, its concentration on hard rock and heavy metal that’s full of power and melody says much about desire to enjoy and support bands who never lose sight of that balance.

Blind River are a key part of this and are one of the most exciting bands to come through in recent years, their visceral gigs building a hugely firm foundation as they lay waste to venues up and down the country in displays of savagery not seen since the Vikings first came ashore.

This full-on, heads down excitement has now been translated into their debut ten track album and ‘Made Of Dirt’ is as filthy and powerful as anyone could ever wish for. They hit the ground not just running but at a speed that would leave Usain Bolt desperately spitting out dust and peering into the distance as ‘Waste of Life’ roars out of the speakers. It’s a big, dirty rocker with a feral attitude, the unholy lovechild of Motorhead and Guns ‘n’ Roses full of blues tinged hard rock ‘n’ roll that will punch you in the face before you have the chance to blink.

The title track is a thick slab of 80’s biker inspired rock that’s massively powerful as guitars grind and lope, vocalist Harry Armstrong in commanding form, his yell of ‘’Dig it!’’ before the solo comes in leaving absolutely no room for doubt.

There’s something of Vanilla Fudge in the heavy, funky blues of ‘Acid Tongue’, the rhythm section of William Hughes and Andrew Esson laying down a groove as thick and irresistible as molasses. ‘Slow Begins the Sickness’ gives another lesson in raw power as they capture the energy of their rampant live shows and ‘Gone’ gives a chance to see Blind River at their swaggering best, slow paced, big and full of drama.

Guitarists Chris Charles and Dan Edwards twin six-string work echoes Lizzy and Maiden in the intro to ‘Horsehead’ before it tears off into full chest-beating mode and those other giants Zep, Skynyrd and Aerosmith imbue the fractured 70’s hard rock of ‘Burn the Sky’ with a real touch of authenticity that both displays their influences and carves their own very definite path with skilled writing and playing.

‘Learning to Lose’ is another stylish heads down work out pummels and seduces in equal measure before they go back to the tension filled and dynamic ‘Psycho Sapien’, brooding like an oncoming storm and just as electric.

The album closes with another all-out wrecking ball in the shape of the boogie blues of ‘No Surprise’, it’s manic outro leaving you utterly spent, the band having given their all of a cornucopia of musical delights for your entertainment. People are concerned about what will happen when none of the biggest bands from the 70’s and 80’s are no longer around but Blind River have shown in ‘Made of Dirt’ that the future is in very safe hands. ****

Review by Paul Monkhouse

David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.

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