Rob Lamothe

Tue
08
Aug

RIVERDOGS - California (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
90%
Produced By: 
Nick Brophy
Release Date: 
2017
Released: 
Worldwide
Musical Style: 
Rock
Score: 
90
Label: 
Frontiers
Artist: 
 
You just can’t help but love the ‘Dogs. One of my favourite ‘soulful’ rock bands that I’ve followed since their incredible debut. But don’t leave out the equally essential Bone and Absolutely Live!
 
While the guys delivered a taste of new material with the World Gone Mad album – constructed from left over songs of the past and unfinished tracks during previous attempts to reform, this is their first proper full length new material release with the original lineup since the debut back in 1990.
 
California was billed as the return to their hard rock roots, which I find wholly misrepresentative on two fronts. First – the band has never been a hard rock band. Bluesy/soulful rock/melodic rock is more accurate; but secondly – this album is nowhere near what you’d define a hard rock album to be.
 
That little peeve stated, we can concentrate on what California is – and that is a gem of an album that is drenched in soul, exquisite songs and a sublime production and mix that is among the best I’ve heard in a long time. Every note and every emotion is there to be heard. Well done Nick Brophy!
 
While it isn’t rocking by any stretch, it is a guitar driven record and Vivian Campbell shows his intricate skills on a collection of slow, moody, expressive songs. The soloing is wonderful, the riffs warm and perfect foil for the hypnotic soulful vocals of Mr. Rob Lamothe.
 
Rob is one of my favourite vocalists, his tone and his talent for emotional lyric delivery is a huge appeal to me and this is one of the best collection of his vocals I’ve heard yet.
 
The opening American Dream is one of only a few songs with pace, but there’s nothing but quality here. Golden Glow for example is just about as good as it gets. And each song, while remaining generally mellow, has its own personality.
The Heart Is A Mindless Bird is another lyrical and musical gem; The Revolution Starts Tonight is powerful and the punky Searching For A Signal gives a mid-album tempo shake-up.
Ten Thousand Reasons is another highlight while Catalina doesn’t have the best chorus, but the tempo is welcomed.
The star for me on this moody, mature, elegant and engaging record is the subtle, haunting vocal dominated I Don’t Know Anything. What a song.
 
To my surprise, the Japanese bonus track is not a lame edit/acoustic version of an album track, but rather another all-new song (When The Mic Drops) and one that carries quite a swagger.

It took a few listens and the right mood to best appreciate this album and its various intricacies, but once there, it’s no turning back. A great album from one of the best sounding bands of this ilk.
Everyone involved delivers electric performances and the songs definitely engage.
 

 

Categories: 
 
Thu
04
May

RIVERDOGS Return With "California" Out July 7

Artist: 
 
First New Album In Six Years
Featuring Original Members Rob Lamothe, Nick Brophy, and Vivian Campbell
 
 
The Riverdogs ARE BACK! Original members, Rob Lamothe (vocals, guitars), Nick Brophy (bass, vocals) and Vivian Campbell (lead guitar), along with long time drummer Marc Danzeisen, have reunited to record their fifth album, “California". The album will be released on July 7, 2017 via Frontiers Music Srl. You can watch a behind-the-scenes video about the making of the album here:
 

 
Mixing the soulful vocals of Lamothe with the edgy guitarwork of Campbell and solid rhythmic lines from Brophy and Danzeisen, the album marks a definitive return to the sound of their critically acclaimed 1990 self-titled debut album.
On the making of the album, lead guitarist Vivian Campbell says, "[w]hen my friends at Frontiers suggested a Riverdogs album in the spirit of the original debut record, I jumped at the chance to make it. In my opinion, "Riverdogs" was a highlight of my career with some of my best guitar playing and definitely a record that flew under the radar. Having a clear direction of exactly what kind of record to make really helped the four of us create the music and there was an intense collective focus throughout the entire process that never wavered. I really think that we hit the target in creating a record that has all the hallmarks, the integrity and the emotional strength of the original debut. The fact that we've all remained such close friends throughout all the years only added to the joyous experience that was the making of this record."
 
“Going in to this project, my goal was to enjoy the opportunity of making music with some of my best friends, to share this incredible experience with my family...and to create something that Riverdogs fans will probably think is pretty bloody awesome. Big guitars! Beautiful melodies! Words about crazy, complicated, real stuff! I feel like Nick, Viv, Marc and I all brought our 'A-Games' to the writing and recording sessions. That's way more important than money and awards and fame to me,” adds vocalist and guitarist Rob Lamothe.
 
Bassist Nick Brophy sums up the writing process for the album: “In summer of 2016, I found myself in Los Angeles, reunited with 3 of my closest friends, about to begin a new Riverdogs album. Marc had arranged a rehearsal environment at a friend’s house which was to provide the creative atmosphere for writing new material. I stood there with bass in hand thinking “OK, now what?” Little did I know that a few days later we would have six new Riverdogs songs and the album ‘California’ was born. The remaining six songs came, surprisingly, just as easily, a testament to the amazing talents of Vivian, Rob, Marc and the effortless way in which we work as a group. Our clear goal for this album was to remain true to the original Riverdogs sound and provide fans with a new set of songs which carry on the legacy of a truly remarkable band.”
 
Riverdogs formed in Los Angeles at the end of the 80’s, when flashy, glitzy hard rock ruled the day, but they were determined to avoid clichés and adopted an original sounding blues rock style. Vivian Campbell of Sweet Savage, Dio and Whitesnake fame at the time (soon to join and become a long-standing member of Def Leppard and later, founding member of Last In Line as well) was initially brought on board to produce the band's first demo, but was so impressed with the band that he actually became a member and played on the debut album. Soon after the release, Marc Danzeisen joined Rob, Nick and Vivian to complete the line-up.
 
Though fans and critics gave the album a warm reception and high regard, the unfortunate and age old story of change of personnel at their record label came about and eventually led the band members to go their own ways, with Campbell settling into the Def Leppard lineup and Nick Brophy becoming a respected engineer and producer. Riverdogs, with a reformed line-up, released two more records in 1993, "Bone" and "Absolutely Live", before going on an extended hiatus. They reconvened, with the original line-up, in 2003 to record new material and play a few reunion shows. Those new songs were recorded as demos, but only completed in the studio in 2011 when their last album, “World Gone Mad” was released.
 
Now, six years after their last studio album, Riverdogs have crafted “California”, a record that truly recreates the magical sounds of their early days and that will surely be welcomed with open arms by fans both old and new!
 
Tracklisting:
1. American Dream
2. The Revolution Starts Tonight
3. Something Inside
4. Golden Glow
5. You're Too Rock And Roll
6. The Heart Is A Mindless Bird
7. Searching For A Signal
8. Welcome To The New Disaster
9. Ten Thousand Reasons
10. Catalina
11. I Don't Know Anything
 
RIVERDOGS:
Nick Brophy: Bass, keys, vocals
Vivian Campbell: Guitars, vocals
Marc Danzeisen: Drums, vocals
Rob Lamothe: Vocals, guitar
 

Categories: 
 
Subscribe to Rob Lamothe