Black Stone Cherry band photo

BLACK STONE CHERRY – Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

Black Stone Cherry - Between The Devil and the Deep Blue SeaThe first time I heard Black Stone Cherry, back in 2007 was with their debut album and I was immediately hooked. The band’s heavy, Southern flavoured hard rock with superb melodies knocked me off my rocker real hard and I have loved the band since then. The follow-up Folklore And Superstition were even better and the band started to gain a pretty big following much due to the fact that they toured a lot and that they are a brilliant live band. Now it’s time for the release of the, so important third album and you can hear that the guys have given much thought to the sounding of the record. First of all, they still have the BSC sound, no worries there, but this time, a bit more commercial thinking has come into the band., because here there are several tracks that are aimed at American rock radio with both pop and modern hard rock like Nickelback waved into their sound. That is not necessarily a bad thing, because all the songs on this CD are very good, but somehow I think that the band is so great within their own style that a ”stunt” like that just isn’t necessary.

That’s why it’s a bit confusing that their brilliant first single ”White Trash Millionaire” is totally BSC without any pop influences at all. The same goes for ”Killing Floor”, a real heavy piece, ”Change”, also heavy and the country influenced ”All I’m Dreaming Of”. All of them holds true to the BSC that released the two first albums. But then we have songs like ”Won’t Let Go”, a pop song, ”Like I Roll” that is American rock radio, the brilliant ”Blame It On The Boom Boom” with a Nickelback influence and ”Stay” that sounds a whole lot like the kind of ballad a band like Hinder would write. Also, we get a cover of the Marshall Tucker Band’s ”Can’t You See”. Not a bad choice at all, but these guys are such great songwriters that covers feels really unnecessary. It’s not like the songs mentioned here are bad, quite the opposite, they are all great, but unfortunately  I feel that the band is losing identity by this and I somehow get the feeling that they have compromised themselves by doing this in order to get a hit and airplay.

Looking back in time on other bands that have pulled stunts like this, these things have a way to hit back on you because fans have an ability to see through things like that and in the long run they might lose fans instead. Hopefully, they won’t, because no matter what, this is a brilliant album and these boys are so devoted to their music, a hard-working band, so now I hope that it’s time for Kentucky’s finest to rise into the first division and take on the world by storm. Do help them out on their mission, we’re all better off for it.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

1. White Trash Millionaire
2. Killing Floor
3. In My Blood
4. Such A Shame
5. Won’t Let Go
6. Blame It On The Boom Boom
7. Like I Roll
8. Can’t You See
9. Let Me See You Shake
10. Stay
11. Change
12. All I’m Dreamin’ Of

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