Release Date: 11th October 2019
Label: Frontiers Records
Formats: CD, DL, vinyl
Toby Jepson’s boys have no problems with the ‘difficult second album’ syndrome as they rock out like it’s nineteen eighty something.
They say don’t judge a book….but you just have to love the cover. Being a sucker for album art, I’d buy it even before finding out that Wayward Sons have gone and done what could be viewed as something of a concept album. Prog rockers might delight and then so might the Dylan fans as they latch onto Toby Jepson’s preference for tagging the new record as a ‘protest record’. However, hold the bus, as The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be might have certain ‘influences’, but once you’ve stopped admiring the cover, paid heed to the preamble and dropped the needle, this is a mighty fine hard rock album.
Granted, if you’ve been following the four-part video series that form a longer format whole whilst at the same time teasing a set of songs from the record, you’ll have an idea that the guys have been quite smart in the concept…unless you have an aversion to clowns.
At times, they define classic rock at its best. In Fade Away they have a piano ballad that conjures up Freddie at the keys with a couple of power chords taking us back to the mid-seventies when Queen and Mott were treading the boards together.
On the other hand, a blast of punky new wave fire sees the Sons challenging genres in the way that Motorhead was as much punk as they were metal and in the same way that Joe Elliot and his Down ’n’ Outz celebrate the golden age of rock and roll. All unrefined raw energy and as the song says, an Us Against The World defiance.
At the same time there’s a dose of reality when If Only God Was Real offers the sort of social commentary that’s almost expected these days; musicians offering their songs as a platform to offer their view of the world as opposed to a rock and roll escapism from the mundanity of everyday life which is what much of what making music is about. My pal Neil Johnson was also keen to point out that the record also contains a particularly favourite lyric: “I used to know about my onions, my story slowly revealed, but now I’m not so sure if it’s an onion or an apple I’ve peeled.” Great stuff!
We wouldn’t have it any other way. Carry on Wayward Sons.
Watch the video for the title track from the album here: