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The Answer – Rise

23 Jan

I’ve been singing the praises of The Answer on Facebook lately, so I decided to introduce them here on my blog. I theanswer_2was introduced to the band by fellow blogger Rob Rockitt @ Hard Rock Hideout a few weeks ago. Until then I had never heard of them. I downloaded their UK hit “Never Too Late” from their album release “Rise” and loved it right away. So I downloaded another, loved it, and another, and another, each time thinking that the taste to hear more would flatten out. It never did. I have since found out that their only release in the United States came last year in the form of an EP. They have a new release for the U.S. coming March 31st called “Everyday Demons”. I am looking forward to that.

The Answer is a hard rock blues band from Northern Ireland. They are Cormac Neeson on vocals, Paul Mahon on guitar, Mickey Waters on bass, and James Heatley on drums. The band has many influences, but their biggest influences have come in the form of such classic blues rock greats as Humble Pie, Free, and Led Zeppelin. Many kudos have been heaped on this Northern Ireland quartet; but the praises that weigh greater are not from peers, but from already crowned rockers like Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, who are also fans.

I have listened to all of the songs off of their “Rise” album several times now and I just can’t get enough. (Hey a Bad Company song) They have the perfect classic rock sound of hard rock blues oriented guitars and soulful crooning much like The Black Crowes. The first song on “Rise” is called “Under The Sky”. It starts with a nice extreme bent string blues riff that kicks into crashing and thumping song that explodes with passion.

Under the sky I cry for you,
Under the sky I crawl,
Under the sky I die for you,
You are the reason why… I fall away,

The second song is the hit “Never Too Late” and begins with an awesome guitar hammer on and pull off that goes on and on, falling into the ever present rhythm section that drives the song and the band. “Come, Follow Me” is an up tempo rock classic that would fit right in on any Humble Pie album. The fourth track “Be What You Want” is a wonderful pop sounding song with just enough blues rock to make it ripe for the FM stations of old.

The whole album belongs on vinyl because it just drips classic 70’s blues rock.  Just a couple of  highlights include “Memphis Water” which plays like it was born on the muddy banks of the mighty Mississippi River.

But I’m trying to be myself,
I don’t wanna be no one else,
in case I falter, you know how it feels,
you told me to follow my fortune,
but you brought me to my knees, hey

Guitarist Paul Mahon plays a mean slide guitar on many songs on the album, but my favorite track so far is called “Preachin'”. It features a down and dirty Memphis blues riff on slide guitar that would make Robert Johnson sit up in his grave and take notice.

Gonna get me a religion, I’m gonna join the baptist church
I am
Gonna get me a religion, I’m gonna join the baptist church
That’s right
Gonna be a baptist preacher so that I won’t have to work

These are just a sampling of this great album. As I said before, I cannot wait until their new album coming March 31st of this year. I found a link to a free download track from it here. I rate this album, ….. um …. yeah you guessed it, five out of five guitars. Rock on!!

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I found a nice video of The Answer performing “Never Too Late” on the Late Show with David Letterman. See it below.

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10 Comments

Posted by on January 23, 2009 in Music Review, Rise, The Answer

 

10 responses to “The Answer – Rise

  1. Frog Hammer

    January 24, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Barry

    How do you reconcile some of the music you enjoy hearing with your faith? My case: I cut my teeth on Sabbath, Zeppelin, Purple, Rainbow et al but felt compelled, when I handed over my life, to say good by to these things. Truthfully, I miss them. I sometimes wish to listen to Snowblind or Long Live Rock and Roll or Mob Rules but I’m reminded of its content and ask myself, “Do I honor the kingdom by listening to this stuff?” Now, understand, I’m not meaning to judge what I perceive you doing. I want to understand and draw insight from it. Maybe I’m needlessly depriving myself. Some of the things you mention listening to give me pause (e.g. AC/DC for instance, another band I loved). Others give me license in a sense (I started listening to Tesla again). I’ve always wanted to discuss this topic in a Midrash-like forum that would show me how others live in this fallen world and not be of it.

    Do read like I’m talking out of both sides of my head. Like life, itself, I’m full of paradoxes. Janus to the core.

    Blessings
    JjM

     
  2. barrydean

    January 24, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Frog Hammer,

    First of all, I love the moniker man.

    Secondly, you ask a very good question. It is a question too difficult to respond to via comments on a blog. But I will offer a few thoughts.

    My initial response is to say that I believe that our sovereign God has created everything, including music. Now, I know that man, like everything else he touches, has turned it into something that is self-exalting and depraved. I also believe that God has created everything to glorify Himself. While not all music glorifies God as you well know. But I would have to say that most of it ultimately does.

    I do not listen to much of the music I unashamedly listened to in my past. Past, meaning prior to God saving me through His son Jesus Christ. For Christ perfectly paid the debt for my sins on the cross and He was raised again. I now have the Holy Spirit within me to convict me of sin and of the things I might choose to consume, including music. I am not perfect but I do try to discern what I listen to. I try very hard not to mention, listen to, or review music with sexually suggestive, or profane lyrical content. It is a balance that is a difficult thing to do and I might be more legalistic than I need to be on myself.

    You might think I am trying to rationalize my behavior in order to listen to what I desire, but honestly I am well aware of the spiritual harm music can have on folks. If someone feels convicted to refrain from listening to rock music then who can tell them to do so? In 1 Corinthians 10:23-26 the apostle Paul writes:

    23 All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.

    I do not believe God has given me license to listen to everything but in the same token he doesn’t make it unlawful either. Please read Romans 14. It is written to help distinguish between the strong and the weaker believer. It was used as a foundation for a sermon for alcoholic beverages by our senior pastor several years ago and I think it would apply here as well.

    I appreciate the dialog. Please feel free to provide more thoughts.

    Barry

     
  3. Frog Hammer

    January 25, 2009 at 11:08 am

    RD

    This is great. I’m glad you took know offense and Romans 14 was a perfect verse to contrast maybe what’s going on here in each of our spiritual lives. I don’t know where I’m gonna land on this. It seems so silly, at times, I tell myself. . . . “It’s just music man” I say, “alright what’s wrong with ‘Junior’s Eyes (BS-Never say Die)”? Such heartfelt lyrics certainly shed a human light on the frailty of the song’s author. Then the same band puts out Born Again with an image of a demon baby on the cover. Clearly a double entendre and meant to be provocative. (BTW: I love Gillan on that album who has gone on to say it marked a low in his musical career). This whole thing with the “satanic” imagery has been so commercialized to the point that its almost silly to think these bands could really believe in what the imagery they associate themselves with really means. Its strange though, the lightning bolt in AC/DC, or the lyrics in Back in Black (uncanny, really, and if not nefariously inspired, cleverly contrived) or lyrics cited through the entire Led Zeppelin canon. You know, I listen to Metallica mad I justify this because I believe James Hetfield is working out his faith through his music. There is definitively a message of grace hoped for in his angry lyrics. I don’t get the same sense of contrition in Dio lyrics. I wish I did.

    JjM

     
  4. barrydean

    January 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Frog,

    I know what you mean about the Dio lyrics. I liked his old stuff with Rainbow. But even then the lyrics were based in Astrology. As for the dual personalities observed in the lyrics from Black Sabbath, they have been doing things like that for years. I think today’s artists do that intentionally as well. Many new hard rock bands will release a single that will touch a moral human nerve. But if you were to invest in the whole album you would find some pretty trashy songs on it a la Buckcherry, or Hinder.

    In many cases you can see the artist writing out their spiritual search and struggles through their lyrics. Hetfield is definitely a great example. This same example can observed in the lyrics from the band in this review, The Answer.

    I would invite you to continue to stop back and read my blog as I try to review music every Tuesday. I believe we are a lot alike in our musical tastes. God, theology, and music are a major part of my life and I try to incorporate those subjects into much of what I write about.

    God bless.

    Soli Deo Gloria! and …. Rock On!

     
  5. Frog Hammer

    January 25, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I downloaded a tune from the Answer per your column. What immediately hit me was their name. “The Answer”. I like to entertain the possibility that bands can be believers but write songs that aren’t, at first blush, Jesus-songs. I find some “Jesus” music hard to take. Almost bubble-gummy and way overly produced. That said I wonder, are The Answer saying something universally about themselves and their orientation in the Post-Rock World through their name. Regardless, I listened to the tune and loved it right away. They remind me a bit of Jet. Hey about titles of bands that make we wonder, whatever happened to The Darkness.

    I love Alter Bridge. They rock so heavy, so crunchy! Their lyrics resonate so profoundly with me. Not only is Tremonti an AMAZING axeman he has the gift of writing about Grace and the struggles of our age in a subtle and very refined manner. I digressed a bit there.

    Meaning. That’s what I’m searching for. I will be looking back to this site. I appreciate your willingness to speak. My guess is that they’re are a lot of folks like you and I who love the Lord and love to hear chest pounding, chunky anthems.

    I’m curious. What do you still listen to from your youth?

    JjM

     
  6. barrydean

    January 25, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Frog,

    You observed the same things about The Answer that I saw. Some of the lyrics I’ve read have me wondering if indeed the author were a believer. I love their sound. It is classic blue influenced hard rock.

    I discovered Alter Bridge after their first release. I am a fan of Mark Tremonti and his unique style of riffs. Myles Kennedy adds so much to the band as a guitar player and his killer voice. My wife and I saw them December of 2007 in a small venue in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are true entertainers as well as talented musicians.

    What do I still listen to from my youth?

    Rush – Their new release Snakes and Arrows is a step back to the guitar oriented days and less of the keyboards.

    The Black Crowes – again their newest release is very good.

    Alice Cooper – his newer music is laced with spiritual battles.

    Foghat – love that old blues styled hard rock.

    Queen – unique, unique, unique.

    Jethro Tull – old English style rock.

    Megadeth – Dave Mustaine is now a believer

    Metallica – trash baby

    Triumph – great three piece band from Canada.

    Tesla – I love their new album “Forever More”. Life searching lyrics.

    Newer bands

    10 Years – great new hard rock band with a diverse sound.

    Chevelle – secular band of Christians

    Lifehouse – again a secular band of Christians

    Skillet – Christian band with attitude and depth

    Kutless – Christian hard rock band with a lot of depth

    Dream Theater – progressive hard rock what else can I say

    Symphony X – same as Dream Theater

    The Answer

    Demon Hunter – awesome Christian hard rock band with depth. Like to quote scripture. Kind of gothic though.

    Black Stone Cherry – Southern hard rock

    Rock On!!

     
  7. Shane

    January 26, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I agree with God creating all things, including music. I believe God is intertwined with everything on this earth, and we can learn a lot of what God is trying to say to us through secular means, hence why Jesus loved to speak in parables. He portrayed a spiritual truth by speaking of and relating the spiritual to that which is in the world.

    Rock on, Barry!

     
    • barrydean

      January 27, 2009 at 12:26 pm

      Shane,

      As always I appreciate your comments. I also believe that God is involved in His creation. Especially music. It was a major means of teaching God’s truth to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. I also believe that God has revealed Himself to us trough His word. Now I also believe that He will use His creation to affirm what His word teaches. But in turn I DO NOT believe that we can learn anything new about God outside of His revealed word.

       
  8. Steve

    January 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I enjoyed reading the dialogue you were having about “The Answer”. I checked them out by following your link. They are very good. I appreciate your list of bands in the comment section as well. I really haven’t listened to a lot of rock and roll bands for years.

     
  9. barrydean

    January 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Steve,

    Thanks again. I am glad that that you appreciate the list. I would encourage you to check out some of them.

     

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