Within the lifetime of a musical genre, there will be high-points and low points.
Southern rock (or what, today, is falsely considered country) hit a low point the moment the music industry decided that lyrics about trucks and the same four chords over and over were all listeners wanted to hear. This is where Gideon’s Army comes onto the scene, with their latest album King of the League. It’s a return to Southern rock’s heyday, when bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, and the Allman Brothers dominated the genre.
It’s one of the bands that I anticipate will be the savior of the genre.
Gideon’s Army Working Toward Southern Rock Revival
While they are somewhat ironically based in New York, Gideon’s Army shows no sign of being out-of-touch when it comes to the genre of Southern rock. Their passion-filled guitar solos, gritty vocals, and noticeable blues and soul influence show a true connection with this type of music.
To give a sort of picture, lead singer Robert Bray cites, among others, Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder as some of his influences, and it really comes out in his work. Naturally, as with most great bands, there’s still something about their sound that is both unique and characteristic.
The album’s first track, “One Kiss,” launches you right into their take on southern rock. The distorted vocals, soul organ, and noticeable bluesy feel all really give a sense of that old-school southern music that was once popular everywhere.
“Fire Fight” deals with a relationship filled with habitual strife and arguments; “Here we go again / Arguing over it.” It uses a rock organ and that, combined with a wild, menacing guitar, drive the raw passion of the track.
“RocknRoller” is about as traditional southern rock as you can get. It’s a ballad of a shady character, the same kind you’d hear described in one of Charlie Daniel’s or Lynyrd Skynyrd’s songs.
It isn’t easy to lead a musical revolution. Few attempt to undertake it. However, it’s the bands that don’t even intend to start a revolution that end up paving the way. If Gideon’s Army continues writing great music, they might be pleasantly surprised to find themselves in that position.
And King of the League may be the album that puts them there.