Music Reviews

Black Stone Cherry -The Human Condition (Review)

Black Stone Cherry -The Human Condition (Review)

As a band, you have a lifetime to write your first album. But after 19 years, so many brilliant records, and a strong, expectant fan base, you’d think it would get harder to keep delivering high-quality material. Not for Black Stone Cherry, it seems.

The band are back, with their seventh studio album The Human Condition, and I’m pleased to report that this release is everything you’d hope for and more.

Watch what happened behind the scenes when the guys recorded the album

So many releases need a few listens before I fully feel, appreciate, and embrace the tracks, but this album has more hooks than the school cloakroom. The melodic rock brilliance of When Angels Learn To Fly and In Love With The Pain are certainly high points on this record.

Check out the official vid for In Love With The Pain

Other standouts include The Chain (no, not Fleetwood Mac!) and Some Stories, which meld together the heavy, chunky, signature BSC vibe with a groove that fans adore.

What makes BSC so special and has surely been the key to their prolonged success is the sheer quality of their songs. Whilst there are heavy guitar riffs from Ben Wells and Chris Robertson along with the thunderous rhythm section of drummer John Fred Young and bassist Jon Lawhon, the songs speak for themselves. The band’s pop sensibility means the album is full of great tunes from front to back, and it is this that sets them apart from so many others.

You can watch the official vid for Again above

You can have the best songs in the world, but you still have to deliver them. In Robertson, the band have a gem of a vocalist who does that every time on this record. His lion-esque roar is phenomenal throughout, which is all the more remarkable as he underwent vocal surgery shortly before heading into the studio.

Pic: Mike Rodway

The record sounds terrific too, self-produced by the band in Lawhon’s Monocle Studios along with the engineer, Jordan Westfall. With a running time of just over 46 minutes, the album includes 13 tracks, of which only two exceed the four-minute mark. This means The Human Condition is an album that seems to end too soon, and really makes you want to listen again.

Check out the lyric video for Ringin In My Head

This release has a little less of the bluesy feel of its predecessor Family Tree, but is chock-full of classic BSC hard rock and oozes melody, which I love. Whilst the album is full of a dozen original songs, we also get a pumped-up cover of ELO’s Don’t Bring Me Down. BSC is a songwriting machine so I’m not sure the cover is necessary, but it’s certainly fun!

Pic: Mike Rodway

With a wonderful Foreigner-style opening riff, Keep On Keeping On brings the record to a close. It’s an uplifting track which acts as the perfect finish to the album. It will no doubt resonate with people all over the world due to the current situation and is sure to be a live favourite too.

Black Stone Cherry have well and truly nailed it again, The Human Condition is surely a contender for album of a very strange year. Brilliant – buy it.

The Human Condition is released 30th October via Mascot Label Group and is available for order here.

The band will be heading out on tour here in the UK next September with the brilliant Kris Barras Band on support. You can grab your tickets here.

Black Stone Cherry -The Human Condition (Review)

Track Listing
Ringin’ In My Head
Again
Push Down & Turn
When Angels Learn To Fly
Live This Way
In Love With The Pain
The Chain
Ride
If My Heart Had Wings
Don’t Bring Me Down
Some Stories
Devil In Your Eyes
Keep On Keepin’ On

 

Review by Madz Lenthall

About the author

Madz Lenthall

Hi everybody! My name is Madz, a 16 year-old rock obsessed girl based in NE Scotland (I started this blog when I was 14). I am lucky enough to have parents who are also fans and have taken me gigging since I was 4! As well as being a big rock fan, I am an aspiring music journalist, who shares my thoughts on new music, gig reviews, interviews with people from the industry and much more. I would love it if you stopped by regularly to check out my material. In the weeks ahead, I'll be posting reviews of gigs I’ve been to, some I’m looking forward to, along with other rock news and thoughts. I am also excited to say that I have lined up interviews with some great artists, so keep your eyes peeled for them! I hope you enjoy reading and would love to hear your comments. All the best, Madz. *A lengthy chat between friends. A lot of people have asked, so the photography credit for the shot of my jacket which I use for my profile goes to the incredibly talented Oliver Halfin! Check him out as he takes some amazing shots!

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