The Southern River Band are from Australia and after hearing them for the first time I liked it enough to do a little bit of Googling but didn’t find very much information about them. I did find some cracking live YouTube footage though. After corresponding with their PR folk I managed to find out enough to do a piece on them!
They are a 4 piece classic hard rock band with plenty of groove and from the looks of it attitude (that does seem to be a feature of Australian bands, perhaps having to play every rough pub in the middle of nowhere toughens folks up). The track that I was sent is called “Chimney” and it grabbed my attention right away with its wicked opening riff leading into an almost southern groove. With the lyrics about “Smoking like a chimney, drinking like a fish, back in jail again” they reminded me lyrically as well as musically to great Aussie artists through the years like AC/DC, Jimmy Barnes and The Screaming Jets (what a band they were!). OK, maybe not the most original of styles but why reinvent something that doesn’t need it? They don’t directly rip anyone off specifically, there were different points where I felt I had heard the riffs or melody lines before yet it still sounded fresh and new perhaps due to execution.
On further inspection, I also noticed they had tracks that reminded me of classic Status Quo (a very good thing
indeed, heads down, no-nonsense, mindless boogie) as well as 70s ZZ Top. In the bio I was sent, which told me nothing about the band (yet everything) they talk about where they are from, a place called Thornlie (head south from Perth on the so-called “freeway”, jump on the Roe Highway, through the busiest roundabout in Australia till you reach there) where the jukeboxes have on them all the same songs they did in the 1970s . So that is their background. Their first show was in the local bar where they played to just the staff. Their music is “rock n roll with a dash of boogie-woogie and a sprinkle of country” and they name check Bob Seger and Van Halen in the same sentence. As I said everything and nothing.
The band comprises of singer and guitarist Cal Kramer, bassist Paddy Smith, drummer Nathan Sproule and guitarist Dan Carroll. They have been nominated 3 years in a row for “best live act” and have an album coming out in August called Rumour And Innuendo, their second so far. All their music is available from their website which will be linked to at bottom of the article.
I look forward to the new album which with luck we will be able to review here at Decibel Geek. Hopefully they get enough attention to see them somewhere outside of their native Australia as I think this is an outfit that will best be heard live! Bet they are raucous as hell! The Southern River Band. Check them out. Remember where you read about them first (probably).