If this exciting Derby band are new to you, just read all about These Wicked Rivers in a fascinating interview with our illustrious editor here.
That means I can concentrate on the music on their new album, Eden, which is twelve songs seeped in blues and proper rock, delivering nearly an hour of high-quality listening. There will be comparisons drawn with some of the early pioneers and, yes, I can hear the 70s and some obvious influences, but the striking thing is how this four-piece have an originality that is always at the forefront. Take one of many standout tracks, ‘Ceasefire’. It starts out with a brilliant yet simple guitar intro, then the bass cuts in before the band join in and set the track on fire. This track alone is worth the entrance fee and helps put the album on the ‘best of 2020’ list.
‘Count To Ten’ is a faster rocker with a Blackmore attitude riff that eases back for the verses where we get quality vocal melodies backed by pounding bass, drums, and etherial guitar. ‘Tea Leaves’ is a quirky slide acoustic guitar song that is totally irresistible with its washboard effects… not illustrative of the rest but I love it! ‘This Train’ slows the pace but adds light and shade throughout; it may remind you of some recent successful bands but take it from me, this is better than they are and the guitar solo is genius. ‘The Garden’ shows the diversity they can fit into the rock template – imagine Sabbath doing Tull played by Budgie… they have it all. ‘Money’ is more genius from the first snare roll to the powerful riff all wrapped up in that uniquely familiar sound they somehow manage to create so effortlessly.
The only shame is that the damn lurgy we are all enduring means the guys won’t be able to tour this great set – fingers crossed they will soon. John Hartwell (vocals, guitar), Arran Day (guitar, vocals), Sam Williams (bass) and Dan Southall (drums, vocals) must be lauded and applauded for putting together such a strong debut (two EPs excepted) and my advice is simple, buy it now!