Album Review: Raising Sand – “All Out War”
I first encountered Raising Sand at a gig promoted by our esteemed ed Nix a few months ago and was impressed by them. Sufficiently so that when the option of giving this album a review came up at the most recent Pure Rawk staff meeting/drinking session, I jumped at the chance.
Happy to say it hasn’t disappointed me. If you remember how awesome Planet of Women were during their sadly brief existence then I think it’s safe to say that we may just have found their natural heirs. Like PoW, Raising Sand deal in soulful and powerful female-fronted blues rock with a good dose of energy behind it – the opening double blast of “Alchemy” and “Dirty Weekend” barrel through with an energy that’s downright fearsome with frontwoman TJ’s throaty rasp snarling over the top like Joan Jett with a forty-a-day habit. They keep up these admirably high standards throughout – you initially find yourself a bit worried when you hear one of the slower tracks like “Witness” that taking their foot off the pedal might sacrifice some of what’s made the album special so far but if anything, allowing TJ’s vocals to bleed through actually works pretty damn well. And that’s the mark of a good singer. It’s only the slightly over-long “Spirit” (which, at seven minutes, could’ve maybe done with having a couple of minutes of noodling lopped off it) where things go slighly askew but the full-on rush of “Shake Your Love” and “Burn It Up” ensure that one slight mis-step is quickly forgotten.
All in all, a pretty damn good debut. Hopefully we’ll be seeing Raising Sand gigging round these parts again sooner rather than later.