There is life in this ole Rhino and this latest album shows a (gulp) sense of maturity that makes it a great listen. The LA four-piece currently consists of Georg Dolivo (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Reeve Downes (bass guitar, backing vocals), Brian “Damage” Forsythe (lead guitar, backing vocals and Dave DuCey (drums).
The band have consistently produced really catchy hard rock, suited to driving at high speed down the highway (or motorway, as we say in the UK) and this album is another fabulous exercise in sonic excellence. Admittedly, it is not quite up to Get Over It standards, but that album is a classic. It, however, does match recent releases and there has been a subtle change to the sound.
The album breaks sweat all round and roars about on a Harley full of hard rocking. However, Dolivo‘s delivery is smoother on this release. He still brings that gruff no-nonsense approach, but his singing is cleaner somehow. This allows the music to take prime stage and there are some absolute belters on this collection.
The guitar work is tight, with the solos showing emotion alongside aggression. Where Rhino Bucket excel is with its rhythm section. The bass playing of Downes is so good. My one reservation is the tone of the bass, which should have more accurately reflected his live playing with a slightly brighter sound. Minor quibbles aside, this new(ish) team at the back are the real stars. There is no tighter rhythm combo in rock at the moment!
The songs also cover much more than the usual rock and roll vices, with “Hello Citizens” talking street revolutions from the view of a band and “Forgiveness” talking no regrets. Wherever, the record player needle drops, the rock is full of energy and sounds so good. The guitar tones on this release are top notch and, having done the driving test, the album makes time fly by when you’re stuck in traffic!
There are two standout tracks, “A Swing And A Miss” with its infectious chorus and, the best song they’ve written in years, “Last Call“. “Last Call” may be the way in which future Rhino songs go, with subtle use of Hammond organ and gospel singing in the background. Great lyrics too. Fantastic…
If you don’t know Rhino Bucket, get this release and then go back and visit their great catalog. You know you’re worth it.