The retro rock scene is saturated beyond belief. In the last few years the bottom slots on the mainstage at Download Festival have been filled with the likes of Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, or Monster Truck or Inglorious. The glaring problem with all these bands is that, at the end of the day, they aren’t nearly half as good as the Aerosmiths or Guns and Roses they aspire to be. And so into this come Merseyside classic rock bunch Black Cat Bones.
First things first, there is absolutely nothing new here: the guitar riffs, the drum patterns, the vocal stylings and the look have all been done before. That’s not to say that there is anything intrinsically bad about this, some of the riffs on this EP are actually very good, if a little derivative, especially the opening of Lust which drives along on a Slash-esque riff. However this song is a perfect example of the failings of this EP where, at over 5 minutes, it definitely outstays its welcome and frankly, by the end has gotten boring. And this is a theme throughout the EP, these songs are not the best to begin with, and they all feel drawn out past their sell by date, with nothing here falling much under the 4 minute mark.
Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with long songs, but they have to have enough ideas to deserve their runtime, and ultimately the songs on Down To The River just don’t meet that quota. This EP is nearly 25 minutes long over just 5 tracks and it feels flabby and in need of some fresh ideas.