Just a Ride is a new hard rock band featuring ex-members of Inglorious and Violent Delight. After being delayed from October of last year due to a band illness, their debut, self-titled album finally dropped today. How is it? Join me in checking it out to find out!
After a brief 1930’s inspired intro track, the first song ‘Fallen’ explodes in with a hard, heavy riff and some powerful vocals immediately. It’s a great punch in the face right from the offset and is a great blend of GnR-style hard rock and some punkier elements. Then, out of nowhere, it drops down to clean guitars and an overall slower, calmer feel. The two parts on their own are great, but it does feel an odd transition between the two, especially when both feel like they make an argument to be a chorus.
The guitar solo is over the faster instrumentation and is fantastic, quick and technical, and a great show-off of skill. It all reminds me a lot of the stuff Phil Campbell is putting out these days, it’s the same sort of sound and attitude. Oh, and that’s good praise given how great his two albums have been with the Bastard Sons!
‘Not Enough’ continues what ‘Fallen’ started with a huge, heavy opening riff. It’s fun, quick, and rather sleazy. The guitars dropping out for the first part of the verse was a nice touch, the distorted vocals sounding awesome over a very nice bass tone. The guitars build back in slowly, as do some backing vocals and harmonies, sounding awesome. The track explodes into a massively catchy chorus; huge open instrumentation and amazing vocals. Everything about this track is great, one of my favourite tracks so the year so far, in fact. Even when it drops down after the second chorus, it fits a lot better than in the previous song. Oh, and the guitar solo is awesome again, of course. This was a great track and makes the playlist!
The great riffs continue with the opener of ‘Razor’, but then it instantly opens up into a pretty glam-sounding part. The track stays pretty slow actually, the drums being simple and the guitars steady. That is outside of the awesome riff coming back in for the chorus, giving the song some great dynamics and really bringing the heavy back to it. The bridge between the chorus and solo was nice, the guitars cutting out for the vocals sounding great. And again, some more awesome soloing! We then head into a final chorus and extended outro which maybe went on a tad too long. Still, the track was very enjoyable!
‘I Wanna Know’ has a great sludgy, sleazy riff to open it up before the guitars again drop out for lines of the vocals in the verse. It creates more of a driving force to the track which is a welcome change of pace after the slower verses of the previous one. The chorus is very NWOCR, and I’m not sure how to describe that or the chorus in any other way, but if you are into that genre you’ll like the chorus and this track as a whole. I don’t really know what else to say about the track either if I’m honest. It’s just a solid hard rock track, even if not a great deal stands out.
The same could be said for ‘Who You Are’, ’T.I.R.O’ and ‘Start Over’. All are good songs in their own right, and the second one even makes the playlist for having one of the best choruses I’ve heard all year. However, they are in the same style as the rest of the album. It’s all great, just simply doesn’t lend itself perfectly to a reviewer when they are all of similar sound!
The following two tracks are brimming with attitude and a fun, bouncy tone, but it is the final track, ‘Release Me’ that presents another massive highlight to the album. First of all, it’s a fantastic change of pace for an album that has otherwise been balls-to-the-wall. Secondly, although it is annoyingly placed at the end of the album, it is a damn good ballad. It still has some heaviness and distortion to it, but is noticeably slower and more open, especially through the verses. And it’s all so open and catchy that it can’t not make the playlist!
Oh, and they throw in another fantastic guitar solo for good measure too. The guitar work has really been a huge highlight of this album. The solo made the track sound even more like ‘November Rain’ than it did previously, and I mean that in the best way possible. A great way to finish a great album!
Overall: This was a really solid rock album and a great debut! I enjoyed this a lot, from the driving riffs to the soaring, catchy vocals and even the slower bits, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This band has a very bright future ahead of them if they continue putting out stuff like this!
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