18 August 2014 (released)
23 August 2014
Hard rocking outfits aren’t exactly rare today and if you want to stand out you need to either have a ‘hook’ – something that sets you aside as unique – or be better than the rest: Black State Highway go down the route of being damn fine and plenty better than the rest.
The band have all the power and some great riffs and in Liva Steinberga the definitely boast a vocalist the audience will remember; dirty blonde, potty mouther and a great voice.
Musically they don’t do anything new but Gordon Duncan (bass) and Harry Bland (drums) are a great rhythm section full of massive power and tuneful bass while Olie Trethewey & Yonnis Crampton are excellent guitarists, riffing and Bluesey in turns.
They got together in Brighton – at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music – and have been playing in and around Brighton and London for a couple of years and on the basis of this their influences are as wide as Thin Lizzy to Hawkwind and Paramore but they definitely have their own touch on rock and with tracks like ‘Conclusion’ (which opens the album!) which riffs like crazy and sets Liva up as a primo rock gal or ‘Sacrifice’ which stomps and roars with a real buzzsaw riff and the vaulting and classic ‘Tekkers’ they definitely have ‘the pong’ (their own word meaning ‘filthy stinkin’, bluesy riffage delivered in a down to earth jeans and t-shirt kind of way’).
This is the kind of rock I can listen to all day and night – it’s done with the right heart and edge, musically very fine and tons of variety. What’s not to like?