Review – The Answer – Sundowners
Golden Robot Records / 7Hz Productions (March 17th 2023)
Reviewer: Stephen Brophy
It’s been quite a while since the last album ‘Solas‘, seven years in fact. Not an unusual gap for some bands but the guys had been pretty prolific with album releases coming every couple of years. Taking a break and doing their own thing for a while seems to have allowed the band to come back together and work on ‘Sundowners‘ with a clear vision and a reinvigoured passion, the sound they have arrived at here is absolutely spot on.
From the opening intro on the Title track to closing bars of the beautiful ‘Always Alright‘, The Answer have brought us a mature and interesting album that allows you to peel back layers the more you listen to it. Something that for me generally gives it more longevity. From Cormac’s easily recognisable vocal delivery to each band member bringing their own instrument to the fore there is no doubt that this album is a group effort.
With a great mix of bluesy Rock ‘n Roll and some more tracks like ‘Want You To Love Me‘ having a very modern kick to them the mix is perfect with one track running into the next seamlessly even when they are a different style. For me I love the mix on this one, and over time this is already looking like it will be slotting into my end of year favourites.
Often with reviews you pick out some highlight tracks, but this one makes it difficult, as even after living with the album for a while I’m not nailing down one or two out of the 11 tracks on offer here, there’s a lot to love and be excited about when these songs are added to the live set list. Really looking forward to getting to catch the guys live again soon, they are currently on Tour in the UK before hitting Europe so get out and check the album and them out.
If I really have to pick some personal highlights, well today the very different powerhouses that are ‘California Rust‘ pushed along by a strong riff and ‘Want You To Love Me‘ where the additional keys and horns just make it burst into life. ‘Livin’ On The Line‘ with it’s anthemic singalong quality and the stunning ‘Always Alright‘ which floored me on first listen, so subtle and just washes right over you. Of course on another day the list may have swapped in ‘Blood Brothers‘ or ‘No Salvation‘ so definitely listen to it over a period of time and left the songs breathe a little.
‘Sundowners‘ feels like meeting up with a really good friend for the first time in a long time, it’s like you saw them yesterday, welcome back The Answer and thanks for bringing a terrific album with you. You don’t have to be a fan of The Answer‘s previous releases to just love this one, it’s a classy piece of work, but if you know the band well this one should definitely satisfy your appetite, just enjoy.
2 Blood Brother
3 California Rust
4 Want You To Love Me
5 Oh Cherry
6 No Salvation
7 Cold Heart
8 All Together
9 Livin’ On The Line
10 Get Back On It
11 Always Alright