Black Stone Cherry - Folklore And Superstition
Roadrunner Records
Southern Hard Rock
13 songs (52:57)
Release year: 2008
Black Stone Cherry, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Goat

Hard Rock these days tends to be either very commercial or very uncommercial, and Kentucky-based Southern-Fried rockers Black Stone Cherry are the former. Big choruses, catchy riffing, Lynyrd Skynyrd meets The Black Crowes; it’s tailor-made for radio and stadium singalongs, and I’m not going to criticise that. Even a gnarled Black Metal warrior like myself needs a break from the blastbeats once in a while, and Black Stone Cherry are great at what they do. Mixing almost Metal riffs with heartfelt ballads, the four-piece deserve their recent success, supporting everyone from Black Label Society (hurray!) to Nickleback (boo!) and getting Folklore And Superstition all the way to the top of the UK Rock Album chart in its first week of sale.

To be honest, I’ve told you enough that you’ll know immediately what to expect from Folklore And Superstition; it’s the kind of album that’s easy to throw on whenever you want something that doesn’t ask too much of the listener except to nod along. The band are capable if hardly technical, opening tune Blind Man a nice little driver that’s driven by the guitarwork with a big catchy chorus and Please Come In a great following track, groovy riffs and melodic leads keeping your attention. Of course, vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson has the sort of inoffensive voice that sounds like every other mildly heavy Rock band on the radio, but he sings well, and the other members provide decent backing. The chief attraction, however, is the usage of catchy riffage, which reaches almost Clutchian heights in moments like Reverend Wrinkle and is never less than fun even when doing the sort of thing you’ve heard many a time before. Soulcreek’s anthemic crowdpleasing, Things My Father Said’s weepy stadium rock, Long Sleeves’ slightly nonsensical Alice In Chains-aping, The Bitter End’s riff-driven... anthemic crowdpleasing – yeah, to be honest, Folklore And Superstition can be slightly samey if you’re listening with just half an ear attuned and ready to be critical.

That’s the only downside, however. Assuming you’re brave enough to listen to commercial Hard Rock that’s released on Roadrunner Records, then you’re certainly possessed of a strong enough character to enjoy Black Stone Cherry’s earpleasing sound and take them for what they are; a more than above average band who fill a certain gap unquestioningly. Even vomit-inducing ballad Peace Is Free, which would be ridiculous coming from Iced Earth, fits in fine here and is an album highlight. OK, so they don’t rock as hard as Clutch yet, but who does? Folklore And Superstition is a solid showing from a band who more than deserve their time on any Rocker’s playlist.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Blind Man, Soulcreek, Long Sleeves, Peace Is Free, The Key
Goat quoted 76 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:25 pm
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