"Raise A Little Hell"

By Professor Jocko

There are bands out there that are blessed with a singer that is unforgettable; a singer that has a unique style that makes it seem as though there are two people harmonizing in an effortless croon. Vocalists such as Ray Gillen, Axl Rose, and Tom Keifer, just to name a few, have mastered this style of presenting their expressive talent. The Answer has such a vocalist that makes this album come to life with raw energy : Cormac Neeson. Hailing from Northern Ireland, and having recently re-signed with Napalm Records, this kick-ass quartet are just what you're looking for in the revival of the classic rock style. The result is an invigorating and energetic collection of songs that will appeal to a younger generation of music fans looking for the sincerity and authenticity that have been lost for such a long time.
The Answer begins the album with a pure, hard-end of the rock spectrum with the opener, “Long Live the Renegades”, which starts with a pounding rhythm of the Michael Waters bass strings, that hit your ears with a bluesy brawl, leaving the listener dazed and confused in their wake. “The Other Side” is quick to follow, which is more complex and interesting, displaying Mahon’s inventive guitar techniques which successfully balance a bluesy ballad feel with mid-tempo rock, all of which feature his taut fretwork. One of the more poignant tracks in my opinion is titled “Last Days of Summer”, which is driven by Waters bass line and distorted guitar effects during the verses which complement the raw edge of the gravel-fueled vocals.

There are no screaming notes and tortured riffs in any part of this album; but plenty of melodic grooves to satisfy any blues-rock fan, which delivers just enough styled traditionalism to pacify all but the most old-school purist. One of the things that I appreciate from this LP is that it doesn’t run out of steam as some bands do, where many of the middle tracks are just fillers to complete the album; the group continues to push each other, which is pleasantly evident. “Whiplash”, has more of an upbeat tempo with an interesting bridge and solo section, which plays with dynamics and production techniques in the opening portion of the song.

There are a few songs on this album that fall slightly into the category of being a ballad, aimed towards radio play, perhaps, which is a wonderful treat to listen to, where the band as a whole pour it out as a soulful, personal pieces of work. The track “Gone Too Long”, where Mahon’s guitar is present as always, but also relies on the passionate, penetrating vocals of Cormac Neeson which provide a glimpse into the soul of the singer himself. In a certain effort to end with a bang, The Answer completes the album with the title track, “Raise a Little Hell”, which is the pinnacle effort by the band where the charisma of the group really shines through as an easy piece of genius. As the song progressively grows, there is a slight funk guitar rhythm, with some added flavor of some harmonica melodies which really supplement the song as it continues to the end.