The Black Box Revelation will be unfamiliar to most around these parts but they have built a pretty solid reputation in their native Belgium for overtly over the top rock n roll excess. BBR are attempting to build on the much touted potential of debut Set Your Head on Fire with new album Silver Threats. The formula remains much the same as before, youthful expression, attitude and recklessness fusing with fierce blues influenced rock ‘n’ roll, like some sort of bastard child of The White Stripes, BRMC, and The Stooges conceived in Belgium.
This like its predecessor is also very simplistic; two guys, lots of dirty bluesy guitar riffs and stomping drumbeats combining potently to produce a surprisingly ferocious noise level demonstrated immediately by album openers ‘High on a Wire’, ‘Where Has All This Mess Begun’ and ‘Run Wild’, all oozing with dirty, scuzzy rock n roll riffs. Not to be pigeonholed they quickly shift gears into the more rootsy blues of ‘5 O’ Clock Turn Back the Time’ and the standout ‘You Better Get In Touch With the Devil’, a welcome turn of pace following the early bombardment which leaves you a little overwhelmed.
There is a distinct feeling that you are missing something on this album and that to fully appreciate these guys it would be to see them live while equally wondering how anyone could anyone survive such an assault, thankfully they demonstrate with ‘Sleep While Moving’ and ‘Our Town Has Changed for Years’ they are capable of less volatile material too. There is still time for pretty epic if at 9 minutes 20 seconds, somewhat slightly over indulgent ‘Here Comes the Kick’ which is the clearest indication of the band maturing as proceedings are brought to a close.
There isn’t really a lot of criticism that can be levelled at this record as it is what it is and doesn’t try masquerading as anything else. There is room for some improvement lyrically which is perhaps due to boisterous nature of the record and the vast quantity of youthful exuberance they candidly display. This maybe a little unfair however as unlike their aforementioned contemporaries their first language isn’t English. Apart from the sheer noise these two young guys manifest the one thing that strikes you is that they deliver their music with honesty and unquestionable confidence in both sound and ability. It is quiet refreshing to hear some stripped down roots-rock for a change with so many bands out there revelling in the 80’s keyboards and synthesizer revival.
Silver Threats is out now on T For Tunes