Written by Kurt Kryszak
Built on shrieking guitar solos, heart-shaking drum fills, a classic bass line, and smoky baritone vocals, The Apocalypse Blues Revue has hit the scene. This new quartet is made up of Ray “Rafer John” Cerbone on vocals, Tony Rombolaon guitar, Brian Carpenter on bass, and Shannon Larkin playing drums. The strength and individuality of this band is honoring all of the famous blues traditions, while still giving off a punk rock vibe.
If you recognize two of the musicians listed above, you are not the only one. Larkin and Rombolaboth come from the four-time Grammy-nominated hard rock band, Godsmack. Together they co-founded The Apocalypse Blues Revue in 2013, and have been building this sound ever since. If you put this record on expecting to hear the same Godsmack sound that has sold over 20 million albums, you will be in for quite a surprise. Larkin and Rambola’s extensive musical knowledge and abilities are on full display here. Right from the top of the album, you get the feeling that this is 100% genuine blues, comparable to any era. The traditional drum and guitar styling that is so recognizable in a southern blues genre is found alive and well throughout. “Evil Is As Evil Does” gives you all the information you’re going to need to know; that this record is going to be worth the ride.
Continuing on through the album, in the second track you are immediately pulled into the slow, deep bassline, and as soon as soon as the dark lyrics hit you, you know that this track is going to be a storyteller’s song. Taking you down a whirlwind of emotions from addiction, to love, to self-respect, “Junkie Hell” has it all, and is absolutely one of the stronger tracks on the album.
“Devil Plays a Strat” is a story about a man that walks into a bar with a Les Paul on his shoulder, and he has to duel against Satan, who has a Stratocaster. It has a very familiar styling to the Charlie Daniel’s classic, only this time, it didn’t work out as well for the man.
The record is rounded off with a beautiful cover of “Music’s Over” by The Doors. It’s a perfect ending to a stellar debut album that takes you for a ride from start to finish. This is an album suited for reclining at home with a glass of whiskey, or to jamming in the car on a long road trip. Shannon proclaims, “I want the perception of this band to be just how much we love the Blues.” That is exactly what you are in for on this record. Get ready for the ride.
From hell, with love, this is…
The Apocalypse Blues Revue