In 1989 glam was king. Warrant had just released their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich and Motley Crue had just released Dr. Feelgood. That same year another band was forming in Los Angeles. Riverdogs may have been formed during the glam era but their musical style was far from what was coming out of LA at that time. Riverdogs avoided the glam-band style all together and instead embraced a rock-blues. Ironically one of the founding members of Riverdogs Vivian Campbell would later become a guitar player in arguably one of the biggest glam bands of the 80’s, Def Leppard.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Riverdogs have just released their fifth studio album California. The album marks the return of original members Rob Lamothe (vocals, guitars), Nick Brophy (bass, vocals) and Vivian Campbell (lead guitar), along with the return of long time drummer Marc Danzeisen.
California kicks off with a catchy track called “American Dream.” This song combines catchy guitar riffs and an upbeat sound to form what will surely be a commercial success. The track also includes a great guitar solo provided by Vivian Campbell. Track two slows things down a bit with an anthem like track called “The Revolution Starts Tonight.” Track three, “Something Inside” takes a turn to the more bluesy side. “Something Inside” showcases great blues guitar work and vocals. Track four provides a great ballad song called “Golden Glow.” The next track “You’re too Rock and Roll” is one of my favorites. This track combines blues and rock and roll, and Lamothe vocals are great as he navigates through the track. Other notable tracks on the album include “Welcome to the New Disaster” and “Ten Thousand Reason.”
By the end of the album you may realize that you have just listened to solid rock/blues from a band that was born during a time when glam ruled the music scene. Ironically, Lamothe’s vocals sound a lot like Joe Elliot’s vocals in some more recent Def Leppard albums. He also has a hint of Don Dokken in his voice.
Riverdogs California is a great album for those who like rock combined with elements of blues and leading vocals. California will be released on July 7, 2017 via Frontiers Music s.r.l.