Review: Brave Rival – Life’s Machine

Review: Brave Rival – Life’s Machine

May 6th, 2022

Reviewer: Dan Mann

This Friday, Portsmouth band Brave Revival release their debut studio album ‘Life’s Machine‘. Brave Revival are another band who’ve had to deal with the ‘interuption’ of Covid to their momentum, now we’re coming out the other side they’re finally back on track.

Following on from their live album ‘Live at the Echo Hotel Music Club‘, which was released a little over two years ago, I’ve been looking forward to hearing what a proper studio production of their music would be like. The live album was a little ropey production wise, but thankfully we now get to hear the band’s music with all the bells and whistles as it were.

Four songs from the live album make it over onto ‘Life’s Machine‘, and wow what a transformation. Producer Tarrant Shepherd should take a bow for his achievement on what unbelievably is his first solo album production. The spaciousness of the album is superb, this is a big sound, nothing allowed to dominate, each instrument and vocal performance is allowed to breath, resulting in an album that sounds like it’s the output from a multi-platinum selling act, not a band’s first studio release.

There are so many outstanding moments on ‘Life’s Machine‘, but without doubt the absolute highlight for me is ‘Come Down‘, a track I’m familiar with from the live album, but bloody hell it literally made the hairs on my arms stand up! Chloe Josephine‘s vocal performance is truly breathtaking, Ed Clarke‘s guitar intro setting the scene for something more than a little special!

The performances by the whole band must be complimented, although that still doesn’t give them the amount of praise they all deserve for this release. As I said previously they sound like a long standing act with plenty of miles under their collective belts. The combination of Chloe Josephine and Lindsey Bonnick‘s vocal talents, backed by Ed Clarke‘s superb guitar work’ the rhythm section of Donna Peters on drums and Billy Dedman on bass, coupled with the addition of seasoned keyboardist Jonny Henderson on Hammond organ and keys, Ian Shepherd on grand piano on ‘Heart Attack‘ and ‘Life’s Machine‘ (who adds yet another epic layer) and a well deserved mention to Bravian Choir members Amba and Leonie Tremain,
Bradley Jago Jackson, Marlene Hill, Olivia Haggarty and Faye Carpenter, who again just add to what is already such a huge sound.

It’s pretty obvious by now that I rather like ‘Life’s Machine‘. Like, no, love, yes! Without doubt one of my favorite album releases of 2022 so far. A ‘must buy’ not only for all you blues rock fans, but also for fans of well produced and emotionally charged music in general.

Brave Rival will be out on UK tour, starting this Saturday, so if your able to, grab the chance to see a band who are going to explode onto the music scene.

07/05/2022 – Lincoln Rock & Blues Festival 2022
08/05/2022 – Bilston Rock & Blues 2022, Robin2
19/05/2022 – Bannermans Bar – Edinburgh
20/05/2022 – Parish Hall – Sedgefield
11/06/2022 – Brave Rival Album Launch, Echo Hotel Music Club, Hook
16/06/2022 – Tring Blues Club
21/06/2022 – Tuesday Night Music Club, Coulsdon
26/06/2022 – Cleethorpes Blues Rhythm & Rock Festival 2022
07/07/2022 – Bullfrog Blues Club, Southsea, Portsmouth
14/07/2022 – The Beaverwood, Chislehurst
31/07/2022 – Uckfield Blues and Roots Festival 2022
05/08/2022 – Jolly Sailor – Southsea
16/09/2022 – Cheese and Grain – Frome (supporting Laurence Jones)
07/10/2022 – The 1865 – Southampton (Supporting Laurence Jones)
05/11/2022 – Coolham Music Club (Supporting Catfish)
11/11/2022 – Hallelujah Festival – Hartlepool
13/11/2022 – The Musician – Leicester
15/11/2022 – The 100 Club – London (Supporting Corky Laing)
16/11/2022 – The Bullingdon – Oxford (Supporting Corky Laing)
19/11/2022 – Parish Hall – Sedgefield (Supporting Corky Laing)
20/11/2022 – Whitby Blues Festival – Whitby