Rik Emmet & RESolution 9 Album Delivers as Resolved
We all make resolutions, listening to quality music is an easy one to keep, put Res 9 on and sit back and enjoy the bluesy rock fuelled ride taking you on across the eleven tracks. This is blues that sparks with the electricity of musicians that are playing at the top of the game. The line-up joining Rik Emmet’s guitar and vocals are Dave Dunlap, guitar and Steve Skingley on Bass and Keys and completing the rhythm section is Paul DeLong on drums. Then adding to the excitement are a number of guest James LaBrie vocals via Dream Theatre, Alex Lifeson, Rush guitarist, the rhythm section are a Triumph Mike Levine bass is joined by drummer Gil Moore. This is Canadian Rockers that have resolved to come together and create an album with a sting in its tail.
Res 9 a debut album for this line up and a welcome return of Rik Emmett and the album promised a lot. If you were expecting solid classic hard-core rock with clashes of guitar then you will not be disappointed. The album is much more considered, the instruments are in control the vocals are strong, but unfortunately the lyrics are at times rather weak for a blues driven rock album.
Opening with Stand Still the rolling blues guitar is definitely not standing still. This is a track that is driving blues with a ZZ Top feel and even the Red House is mentioned as blues are given an out with stinging guitar and Riks vocals imploring us to relax with an intimidating growl that is to be obeyed!
Four tracks have special guests and you do not have to wait long before Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson makes his first appearance on the second number Human Race. Adding to the Dunlap Emmett guitar partnership is the twelve-string of Alex adding that tonal power that gives the number an attention grabbing vibe as the last note fades and the last lyrics ‘I’m still this guy. I still live this”. Then a change of tempo as I Sing with Dream Theatre’s vocalist James LaBrie, he sings for his supper with vocals that rise above he will never go hungry. Now three tracks in the album had me hooked, not as a reviewer but a lover of music that weaves with the blues and creates music for now and not yesterday. Both Alex & James join in the fun on the last track End Of The Line. With a rocking riff the track opens and the drums are secure as the vocals take up the guitar challenge. This is a guitar number with not one, but three exhilarating guitar solos the third being a Lifeson special what a last track full of rock energy verve and style with all the excitement of a blues jam. Wait, all is not over, there is a bonus track as joining the band on Grand Parade is Gil Moore & Mike Levine a triumph of rhythm. The bonus is a slower ballad infused number, acoustic and floats on a sea of blue that laps around the shoreline.
The numbers that the band are left to their own devices are full of blues, ballads and emotions. Rik’s vocals on My Cathedral are laid back reflecting the soothing guitar. The trend continues with the slow mournful The Ghost Of Shadow Town that has drumming the makes the foundation solid. This is a track that needs strong power infused lyrics and they miss the mark for me. Blues colour the next two tracks exploring the link that connects rock and the blues with Sweet Tooth. Just as you are smothered by laid back vibes rock hits the spot and Heads Up we have hooks and chorus that re-energises the album before the smooth road home.
There is no doubt that Res 9 is an album that intrigues, whets the appetite with the mix of slow and intense blues and rock and the interface where the morphing of blues jam into a harder rock number. The album is an exploration of guitars relationships with vocals, the losers here at times are the vocals as the songs are just not strong enough to be a real triumph of narrative driven blues rock.
Rik Emmett & RESolution9 – Res 9 – Mascot Group Label
release Date 11th November 2016
EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Stand Still
- Human Race (feat. Alex Lifeson)
- I Sing (feat. James LaBrie)
- My Cathedral
- The Ghost of Shadow Town
- When You Were My Baby
- Sweet Tooth
- Heads Up
- Rest of My Life
- End of the Line (feat. Alex Lifeson & James LaBrie)
- Grand Parade (feat. Gil Moore & Mike Levine)