REVIEW: The Glorious Sons – The Union (2014)


TGS_0001THE GLORIOUS SONS – The Union (2014 Canada Factor)

Kingston Ontario is home to several great Canadian rock artists:  The Tragically Hip, Hugh Dillon and the Headstones, Sarah Harmer and Weeping Tile, and many more.  I dated a girl from Kingston about 15 years ago and guess what!  She was a musician.  (I even reviewed her CD for her back in the day!)  The place is a musical hotbed and The Glorious Sons are my latest favourite band to hail from there.

The Sons have been earning a lot of radio play thanks to four great singles.  The one that first gained my attention last year was “White Noise”.  The way the singer (Brett Emmons) enunciates caught my ear.  He has a unique sort of drawl to accompany his powerful rasp.  The first two things that initially catch me about a band are usually the singer first and the song second.  Turns out the Glorious Sons have both on “White Noise”; a brilliant track with a dark celebratory vibe.  It sure sounds Canadian to me:  guitars, bass, drums, singer, song.  There’s a certain type of “Canadian Rawk” that the Glorious Sons inhabit a corner of, and I don’t mind at all.

“Lightning” is the current single I’m hearing on the airwaves.  It is a spiritual companion to “White Noise”.  It has a slow burn to it, and a killer vocal performance by Emmons.  Four of the five Sons are credited to backing vocals, and “Lightning” has those “ahh ahh’s” that help bump a chorus into the stratosphere.  For a harder rocking single, check out “Heavy”.  Better get your boots on because this one will get your ass swaying.  The fourth strong single I’ve been hearing is the southern flavoured “Mama”.  Sounding something like an undiscovered Skynyrd track via the Black Crowes’ By Your Side, it’s plenty fun and gets the hips movin’.

Thankfully, The Union is more than just a few good songs on the radio.  This is evident on the slow-building opener “Man Made Man” which sounds like good old 1980’s hard rock!  Once again the band cover the backing vocals, keeping everything sweet enough for hit potential.  “Hard Times” is another hard rock standout.  The cool thing about the Glorious Sons is that not only could they be very big now, but they could have been very big in 1989!  This kind of celebratory rock would have been right up my younger-self’s alley. “The Contender” covers the badass rock vibe, and what could be more Canadian than a song called “Gordie”? “I wanna be like Gord Downie!” sings Emmons, name-checking his home town hero on this campfire rock track. “The Union”, “Lover Under Fire” and “Amigo” round out the album, a strong collection of songs overall.  All these songs share strong hooks, great singing and a soulful rock sound.  “Amigo” is a nice mellow piano track to close the album.  Not a poor song in the bunch.

I’m very happy with my purchase of The Union by The Glorious Sons, an up and coming band for sure.  And for $12 on Amazon, the price sure was right!

4/5 stars

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