Tuesday 20 September 2016


Most of the bands reviewed on the pages of Desert Psychlist  have in one way or another been influenced by those scallywags from the backstreets of Aston, Birmingham UK, Black Sabbath. Some bands try to disguise their Iommi inspired grooves by drenching them in layers of psychedelic colouring, some play them at unbelievably sound breaking speeds, some play them so slow they almost stop and some like Freedom Hawk and Orchid just play them.
LA's Rare Breed are one of the latter, the Californian band make no bones over the influence Ozzy, Tony ,Geezer & Bill have had over their direction and sound, something that is glaringly obvious when listening to their latest release and first full length album "Looking For Today".

"Looking For Today" starts life with "Funeral Pyre" a short and quite serene keyboard and arpeggiated guitar piece, it's calmness and tranquillity the polar opposite of the maelstrom of sabbathian grooviness that is yet to come.
Normal service is resumed with next track "The Stranger", Oscar Del la Torre's chugging hard rock riff, spliced with squealing guitar breaks, is underpinned by Hernan Rojas' solid and unfussy drum patterns and bolstered by Joey Castle's big sounding bass and Ozzy-lite vocals, its  fuzz drenched groove hinting at late Sabbath while at the same time recalling in places the early grooves of some of the early 70's, so called, "second division" bands like Budgie and May Blitz
The Rare Breed, although inspired by Black Sabbath pay homage to their heroes not by recreating their sound, a mistake a lot of bands make, but by giving their own sound a "feel" of Sabbath. Songs like "Visions", "Witches Lore", "Rusted Diamond" and the aforementioned "The Stranger" are, when broken down, more akin to the proto-metal of Pentagram and Sir Lord Baltimore than they are to the famous Birmingham four, having a harder rocking feel and bluesier edge.. When the band do get close to their heroes, as on the excellent "Mountain of Dreams" and "Echoes," they do so from a more "Sabotage" era perspective as opposed to that of the first four iconic albums.
The Rare Breed are never going to escape the fact that many will just see them as another Sabbath sounding band, especially with Del la Torre's Ozzy-like vocal tones at the forefront, but if you take the time to dig a little deeper and really listen you will find a band with a lot  more to offer.
Check 'em out .....

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