Home Read Albums Of The Week: Rival Sons | Darkfighter

Albums Of The Week: Rival Sons | Darkfighter

Lyrics ripped from today's headlines are set to licks influenced by rock classics on the California quartet's crowdpleasing and instantly familiar seventh studio album.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Rival Sons’ new album Darkfighter was produced by longtime collaborator and Grammy winner Dave Cobb and is the California band’s first music since 2019’s Feral Roots, which earned two Grammy nominations.

“Darkfighter represents the cultural mitosis of isolation, the pandemic, and the national fabric of the U.S. getting looser and looser,” vocalist Jay Buchanan explains. “There are lines being drawn constantly. We’re so divided, and you can’t step over the lines without offending someone. It certainly informed my writing. We recognized a responsibility to put a good word on people’s ears so there’s a good word coming back on their tongues too. We missed the joy of the live show and that magical interaction. When it was taken from us, that made me want to sing about topics that were important. There are strong themes on this record of loss of identity, preservation of joy, and beholding light and shape again.”

Lead guitarist Scott Holiday added, “Records are a healthy form of escapism. I hope this one takes you as far away as possible. Our intent was to create a cinematic body of work. As soon as the doors shut behind you, you’re enveloped on the ride. This is the sound of us really coming into our own. We’ve gotten further from our influences and gotten closer to what we are. Darkfighter sounds like the Rival Sons.”

The album is introduced by the explosive single Nobody Wants To Die. “You live your life knowing that the sword of Damocles is hanging over your head by a thread,” Buchanan says. “You’re fully aware of the impermanence of your existence, but you can’t think about it all the time — or it’ll fuck your life up. I used to work in a mortuary as a service advisor for a few years, driving and opening the hearses. I’d attend three funerals per day. Sometimes they would be filled over capacity. Other times, it would just be me, a priest, and a hole in the ground. It doesn’t matter who you are; the great equalizer is coming. I was thinking of this because the music sounded like pursuit.”