RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

California Breed – California Breed
Frontiers Records
http://www.frontiers.it/news/10707/

Rating: A-

From the ashes of Black Country Communion comes a rock band featuring BCC members Glenn Hughes (vocals, bass) and Jason Bonham (drums).  Where Black Country had a superstar guitarist in Joe Bonamassa, Cali-Breed features 23-year old axe man Andrew Watt.  

Like BCC, California Breed is a hard rocking, bluesy band filled with Hughes amazing vocals and solid musicianship.  Unlike them, however, they are a power trio, without any keyboards, making music that is more raw and unabashed. 

Hughes and Bonham seem overjoyed to continue working together.  Jason bashes the skins like a mix between his father, John, and Keith Moon.  He delivers what is, perhaps, the most spirited performance of his career.  Hughes also shines as he riffs, sings, screams, pounds and spits out the low end and the lead vocals as only he can. 

So, just who is this kid named Andrew Watt?  He’s a tough kid from New York City who came to the attention of Glenn Hughes via none other than Julian Lennon. 

Watt has a gutsy guitar style and is, as described by Hughes, as influenced by Mick Ronson as he is Jimmy Page.  Don’t believe Glenn?  Just listen to album opener “The Way” and you will see this is confirmed, one hundred percent.

Watt’s playing will not set the world on fire.  He’s no Joe Bonamassa, yet he has a way of slamming out a riff that, while not difficult, just sounds damn cool. 

“Chemical Rain,” “Sweet Tea” and “Spit It Out” are great songs that show the many facets of hard bluesy rock that this band is capable of pumping out.  “Days They Came” may be the best tune on the album, as all three men synch together as a music-making machine on this one. 

If this band has any commercial success, then look for them to tour heavily in 2014 and return to the studio for a sophomore release. 

Hughes sums up the band’s attitude perfectly when he exclaims, “I live in the moment, it’s all about NOW, California Breed is exactly where I live, breathe and where my freak flag flies.”

Tracks:
1. The Way
2. Sweet Tea
3. Chemical Rain
4. Midnight Oil
5. All Falls Down
6. The Grey
7. Days They Come
8. Spit You Out
9. Strong
10. Invisible
11. Scars
12. Breathe
13. Solo*

 

By Jeb Wright

 

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