CMJ - "The blues-rock-inspired quartet uses its inspiring talents to produce an unparalleled energetic sound."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.52) - "It's really no gamble to suggest that over 31 magical minutes, Rival Sons have delivered the finest classic rock debut of the year."
Q (Magazine) (p.119) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] powerful, soulful affair full of strut and swagger."
Uncut (magazine) (p.89) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "There is some funked-up bass on the title track and a healthy dose of soul-boogie on 'Only One' and 'Save Me'..."
Earache Records is nominally a label devoted to death metal, but anyone who buys Rival Sons' Pressure & Time expecting an album in that style is likely to be disappointed, just as any rock fan who avoids it with the same expectation will be missing out. The Los Angeles quartet consisting of singer Jay Buchanan, guitarist Scott Holiday, bassist Robin Everhart, and drummer Mike Miley doesn't play death metal, though its music might be called early or pre-metal. Simply put, Rival Sons are a power trio plus singer in the traditional style, who might have made this album after listening to the first Led Zeppelin LP over and over for a day or two. Songs like the title track and "Gypsy Heart" find Buchanan wailing away in a piercing tenor reminiscent of Robert Plant, while Holiday plays Jimmy Page-like power chords, and even the closing power ballad "Face of Light" is a Zeppelin-esque change of pace. Rival Sons do exhibit some other influences on Pressure & Time (which is their first album for a proper record label following the self-released full-length Before the Fire and an EP called Rival Sons). "All Over the Road," for example, calls to mind Deep Purple's early days (the days of "Hush," not "Smoke on the Water"), while Buchanan, despite singing in a higher register, demonstrates an Eric Burdon-like swagger on "Young Love." Of course, the band also calls to mind groups of subsequent generations that built on the hard rock sound of the late '60s, such as the Cult, the Black Crowes, Jet, and the White Stripes. So, anyone who likes that kind of music should overlook the implications of the record label and check out Rival Sons. ~ William Ruhlmann