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Music Review: Band Of The Week: Sons Of William

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Sons Of William make the kind of rock you want to hear when you’re slumming it in a saw-dust-on-the-floor bar, in the deep-south, sitting, feet-up on a table, drinking bourbon. As you watch, the band slowly enthrals the rancorous audience into silence with a rich tapestry of music that is bluesy, funky and always horny. Then the tempestuous, luscious, vocals harmoniously caress lyrics that are, you can’t help thinking to yourself, intellectually above this bar’s usual crowd.

Their debut album, What Hides Inside has a mix of radio friendly indie rock and more edgy, southern rock, great songs, fantastic musicianship, stirring vocals and plenty of energy and soul. Their dirty, raw, mostly bluesy, sometimes funky sound is combined with dark, sensual, smoky vocals, intelligent, passionate lyrics sung in rich harmony by frontman Joe Stark and bassist Jen Janet.

Joe Stark’s amazing, often mind-blowing talent with a guitar is matched by his mellow, smoky, make-my-panties-wet vocals followed closely by his ability to write intelligent, profound and always literate lyrics. And What Hides Inside has everything that makes this band so exciting. You really need to own this album.

“Darkest Secret,” my favourite track, contains the lyrics that inspired the album title. “And I know what hides inside. I can keep your darkest secret alive.” This song has everything that I love most about Sons. Soulful guitar, coloured with classic rock and the oh-so-hot lyric “With heavy hand and a jealous glow/ you touch me so sinful and slow…” sung in Stark’s steamy, mellow voice in perfect harmony with Janet’s sweeter, feminine tones.

What Hides Inside CA“Easy to Love” is a sweetly passionate love song and has a killer guitar solo that absolutely conveys the full weight of emotion in this beautiful track. “Smile,” the first single from What Hides Inside, shows the Sons influences well, you can hear the classic rock and even a bit of early pop. For straight-up southern country rock there is “Ndependence Day,” with perfect harmonies, scorching guitar and even tinkling, raining piano. “Vicious World” is a brilliant mix of modern indie rock melodies and classic rock musicianship. The final track “Count On Me” is softer, smoother with an acoustic guitar beginning. The song is a perfectly timed crescendo, ending with an orgasmic climax and finishing with yet another of Joe’s blistering guitar solos.

Sons Of William’s What Hides Inside is a triumph of talent, spirit and rock music. Perfect for listening to when riding in your car on a warm summer day with the windows open, music blaring, or in that dirty little bar you just love to frequent. But I like listening to What Hides Inside after a hard week, on a Friday evening at home with a bottle of whisky and a good friend. You can hear tracks from What Hides Inside at Sons Of William’s MySpace space or, better still, just purchase it from their webstore.

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About A.L. Harper