Even the die-hard progressive rock and metal aficionado needs to take a step back occasionally and remember where it all started. For me, my musical interest started with straightforward rock music. Something I still appreciate and regularly play at home, but preferable in my car. Black Bone Nation is one of those bands that take me back to my early years, exploring music. The South African quartet, consisting of main man, vocalist and guitar player Zakk Styles, lead guitarist Brendan Forer, bass player Leroux Engelbrecht and drummer Henri Viljoen keep it simple, rough and loud.
Born To Rock brings you just over forty minutes of solid, sleazy hard rock. Lyrics that are kept simple, like Born To Rock, Live To Ride and Bottoms Up, perfectly linking to the music. A song like, Bottoms Up might be the perfect reference to the music on the album; AC/DC all the way, with a lot of references of the other major Australian band from the seventies and eighties, Rose Tattoo. Occasionally the power is turned down and a beautiful ballad style composition shows up. All For Tomorrow is such a song, a wonderful track, reminding me of Guns'n' Roses at some points. Miles Away and Magic Man are the other two smoother tracks, where melody is chosen over raw power. As on many rock albums from the eighties, the obligated instrumental is also present, Deaf Forever is a more than wonderful musical piece, that shows how beautiful good old rock'n'roll can be.
All in all Black Bone Nation released a fine album in Born To Rock. Perfectly balancing straight forward rock, including glorious guitar solos and fine vocals, delicate ballads and an amazing instrumental. A remarkable piece of memory, written and recorded in the twenties. The album made me want to check out my old vinyls and see if the neighbourhood agrees with my choice.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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