Album Review of Rival Sons: Feral Roots

Album Review of Rival Sons: Feral Roots

Rival Sons Create the Masterpiece Robert Plant Couldn’t Pull Off

Golden Gods need not concern themselves with the bleating of sheep. But they had best take note of the lordly disciples no longer in need of the Master’s teachings.

What the Rival Sons have created on their new Feral Roots (2019) album is truly stunning. I am thrilled at its depth of concept and sincerity.

The mingling of 70’s rock, California fuzztone, Muscle Shoals production, and Tennessee backcountry is a feat of uncompromising beauty.

Thank you, Rival Sons, for not letting the fans down after your world-traveling endeavors as the opening act to Black Sabbath. The experience did not hamper your own vision or creativity.

A Classic Rock Album from the Start to Finish

Now with their 7th album (including the EP from 2011), Rival Sons have created a catalog of powerful, relevant, and long-lasting rock music.

Their production choices are not wrapped in “flavors of the day,” and therefore, an album like Feral Roots is timeless upon the first hearing.

Drums, bass, overdubbed guitars, a smattering of keyboards and effects, and lead vocals—that’s a proven combination that simply doesn’t age.

Classic albums from the Stones, Humble Pie, Zeppelin, and Little Feat all got it right, and with Feral Roots so do the Rival Sons.

Highlights Abound Throughout Feral Roots

The title track is a lengthy rocker but without redundancy or self-indulgence. “Back in the Woods” with its heavy groove and backroads references is manly rock through and through. “End of Forever” might just rip your face off with its nasty riff and sense-of-danger vocals. “Stood by Me” has a Stones-esque street-funk swagger but with vocals far surpassing the range of Jagger. And the line “My dancing is better than yours” from the track “Shooting Stars” is practically worth the price of admission all by itself.

5 Rock-stars Out of 5

Feral Roots immediately becomes the benchmark for all others on the list of best rock albums for 2019. It’s a complete victory for the band and I look forward to catching them on tour later in the year.

Purchase your preferred copy of Feral Roots here.


–Dr. Gregg Akkerman has his doctorate in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado and is the author of several books, including Experiencing Led Zeppelin and The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story.