ALBUM REVIEW: Death Valley Paradise – Kris Barras Band

As one of the UK’s hottest artists of the last 18 months, KRIS BARRAS BAND are looking to cement their place on the charts with their new album Death Valley Paradise. Since the release of 2018 The divine and the dirtythe band performed to an audience of three million people on BBC Radio 2 and played shows with people like BON JOVI and BLACK-PILED CHERRY in the past year alone. It must be a dream come true for the singer and guitarist Kris Barraswho has been playing and performing since the age of five.

Although he may be the namesake, Barras is not the only member of KRIS BARRAS BAND. Josiah J. Manning takes the helm of the guitar, advancing the songs with the help of the bassist Kelpie McKenzie. The group is finalized by the addition of a powerful drummer Billy Hammetthat enhances music with consistent, mechanical drumming.

This album should not disappoint some Barras‘ more loyal fans who are more familiar with his work as a blues artist. If that’s how you would rank, then tracks like Long gone and Cigarettes and gasoline will not fail to seduce you. They encapsulate the characteristics of a modern bluesy song and most of the band’s earlier music; fuzzy guitar, stomping and clapping, and Barras‘sweet tones.

There’s also plenty of music for new fans of Barras enjoy. A standout track in this category is the album opener dead horses. This track is up there with the best of them on Death Valley Paradise and integrates the strengths of each of the band members to create what could be a modern rock masterclass. It gives us very little time to get comfortable on this album and instead throws us headlong. Barras‘ hoarse voice can guide us throughout the track, but the real showcase is in the extremely impressive guitar solo which should delight fans of more “classic” groups. It really is the perfect start to the album and sets the tone perfectly for the next ten tracks.

Nearly halfway through the album is another standout track: the final single Who needs enemies. Using more modern elements like background synths, this is definitely one for younger fans. The chorus alone is hugely powerful, using vocal harmonies to create something many will want to shout out loud – it will no doubt be in every venue on the band’s main tour this month with FLORENCE BLACK. Another case where Barras decides to extract a ridiculous guitar solo from scratch, this song truly has something for every fan of the band with both classic and modern rock elements – an impressive mix that’s usually hard to nail.

Although they have only recently seen more mainstream success, KRIS BARRAS BAND showed their efforts weren’t wasted with this latest release, creating something as impressive as their previous discography. Death Valley Paradise well and truly showed us that this band isn’t just the new flavor of the month, but is actually here to stay.

Rating: 9/10

Death Valley Paradise is available now through Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.

Like KRIS BARRAS BAND on Facebook.

Comments are closed.