Rival Sons defy convention once again with LIGHTBRINGER, a companion album to DARKFIGHTER, released just this past June.
Rival Sons have always been a band that played by their own rules, and true to that iconoclastic spirit they recorded LIGHTBRINGER during the same intense sessions with producer Dave Cobb where DARKFIGHTER was born. Where DARKFIGHTER made for a thunderous entrance in the ring earlier this summer, with LIGHTBRINGER Rival Sons deliver the knockout punch, amplifying the impact of it all now that we get to hear everything they worked on in those sessions.
Guitarist Scott Holiday reflects on the challenge of doing something out of the norm like releasing companion albums, stating, "When you do two albums back-to-back like this, there are a lot of things to think about. The first record has to pack enough of a punch and tell enough of a story for the second half to have an even bigger impact. We balanced them out with energy and meaning, but the follow-up always needed to deliver a bigger blow. I think LIGHTBRINGER provides this."
He's not wrong. “Mercy” rides along on as great a guitar riff as the band has written (and they’ve written quite a few), and the giant chorus will have you begging for more (you thought I was gonna say “mercy” there, admit it). As the song itself says, it doesn’t let you down. Not to be outdone, the rollicking single, "Sweet Life" bursts to life with a frenetic drumbeat and another rip-roaring riff, as singer Jay Buchanan's bluesy wail navigates a cathartic hook and boogie-down groove. "I've got to shake, shake, shake the bad rhythm for good," he declares, shimmying in lockstep with the electrifying guitar.
Jay Buchanan explains the artistic evolution between the two albums, asserting, "DARKFIGHTER is a new Rival Sons, and LIGHTBRINGER is the clear definition of what we are now. We broke ground on DARKFIGHTER, but LIGHTBRINGER is a step beyond the personal innovation and exploration. It goes a little further. We really took everything into our own hands and pushed to see how far we could go. It was a self-exploration to see who we were and who we'll be now. We had more friction and compromise than ever, because we isolated the bare essence of where we needed to go - and then we went there."
Rival Sons have always embraced their path without apology or pretense. Their discography stands as a testament to this ethos, with albums such as Pressure & Time, Head Down, Great Western Valkyrie, Hollow Bones, and Feral Roots. The latter earned them critical acclaim, securing two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance for the single "Too Bad." The anthemic "Do Your Worst" propelled them to even greater heights, clinching the No. 1 spot at Rock Radio and amassing over 60 million streams. As they unleash LIGHTBRINGER, Rival Sons continue to carve out their unique sonic space, proving that in the halls of rock, they are the architects of their own destiny.