The Answer has been hanging around nearly a decade doing their part to keep the spirit and style of classic hard rock alive. As expected, they do a good job. It is obvious they love the genre of music and they are putting all they have into the music they create. With Raise a Little Hell they have, once again, fulfilled their musical mission. Once again, however, they still are just not quite as great as their heroes.
There is a lot to like on Raise a Little Hell. The vocals are good, the riffs tasty, the solos crisp, the rhythm section driving and the attitude of the album spot on. The songs are where The Answer has always been just a teeny-tiny hair away from greatness. They are good, not great and great is where they will need to be in order to be the true answer to rock and roll’s woes in the modern day.
On their own, these songs they stand tall. Considering this is 2015 and the current state of music kicks them up a notch. Comparing them to classic AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Bad Company songs sees them fall short. Granted, those other bands have history and nostalgia and that is precisely what The Answer needs, but precisely what they will never have, as the industry does not support bands like The Answer. It’s a tough spot to be in.
What’s The Answer? They are a band. What is the answer? They need support from fans of classic hard rock. The Answer simply needs repeated listens to catch up to their heroes. “Long Live the Renegades” is a killer song, as is “Whiplash” and “Cigarettes & Regret.” One would be lying if they said they were in the same ballpark as “The Boys are Back in Town,” “You Shook Me All Night Long” or “Shooting Star,” however. It’s just the truth.
So, what we have here is a cool-ass band making good, solid, classic rock leaning music that’s good. For a decade they have struggled to find their place in this crazy musical world, and, truth be told, Raise a Little Hell, is a return to their original mission and a big step in the right direction. They came close to making a great album this time out, leaving hope the next time out the answer will be revealed.
Despite the issues described in this review, I say buy this one and crank it up. You will be impressed. The Answer just needs more of a nudge to push harder, work harder, write and re-write their songs and work it out even more than they have done before. A big name ‘70s or ‘80s producer would help these guys a lot as well. They are close.
At the end of the day, in their current state I would say they are realistically better described as ‘part of the solution’ rather than the end all be all answer.
Long Live the Renegades
The Other Side
Cigarettes & Regret
Last Days of Summer
Strange Kinda' Nothing
I Am What I Am
Gone Too Long
I Am Cured
Raise A Little Hell
By Jeb Wright
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