Sunday, 4 October 2015


Californian trio The Rare Breed make no secret of their love of Black Sabbath even going so far as to describe themselves " 3 rock'n'roll Sabbath worshipping dudes based out of Los Angelas, CA" on their Bandcamp page. Now the question is do we need another Sabbath sounding band, especially as the likes of Sheavy, Orchid and The Graviators already, with various degrees of success, fill that particular niche quite nicely. Well I can't answer for everyone but if the enthusiasm, vigour and freshness the band display on their self-titled EP is anything to go by then the answer is a resounding YES!

Guitarist Oscar De la Torre kick starts opener "Mountain of Dreams" with a swirling reverb soaked guitar motif that is then joined by the booming bass of Joey Castle and the LOUD percussive thunder of tub-thumper Hernan Rojas, the three soon settling into a groove over which De la Torre then injects his vocals. Tonally somewhere between Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale and  Ozzy, De la Torre's clean, slightly nasal vocals weave into the music rather than float above it and add a certain classic metal feel to the groove. Full on and in yer face the song is a great way to start a debut EP
"Under The Shadow of the Sun" fools the listener in to a false sense of security by opening with an acoustically strummed guitar before turning on the electricity and exploding into a monster riff of epic proportions. Rojas drives the song from beneath with furious Bonham-esque percussive fury locking in with Castle's dexterous bass playing, creating a wall of Sabbathian rhythm for De la Torre to add vocals and guitar to, It is Del la Torre's guitar playing that lifts The Rare Breed out of the Sabbath also rans bracket, by managing to avoid the pitfall of trying to sound like Tony Iommi and instead opting for a more hard rock/blues approach. Drip feeding his solos with Angus Young type rock'n'roll clich├ęs married to dark pentatonic meanderings reminiscent of Budgie's Tony Bourge he dominates the musical passages between verses and choruses with his powerful tone and choice of notes and in doing so makes this track the highlight of the EP
"Visions" sees The Rare Breed going fully into Sabbath territory with a groove that would not of sounded out of place on the UK bands "Sabotage" album. Dirty fuzzed out and blessed with two delicious solos it is short sharp and deeply addictive.
Things come to a close with "Witches Lore" a song that brings all the elements of the previous three tracks into play and adds a nice dash of old school hard rock and metal into the mix just for good measure. Bringing to mind Michael Schenker era UFO  with its slight "Rock Bottom" riff "Witches Lore" rolls along on a delicious wave of fuzz and distortion with Rojas and Castle going hell for leather underneath and Del la Torre coating everything with a delicious mix of vocal and six-string pyrotechnics.
Some will call this Sabbath worship others will call it plagiarism I prefer to call it ROCK'N'ROLL!!!

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