Review: Riffs & Grit Lead Blackbird Angels’ Debut Album ‘Solsorte’

In the ever-evolving world of rock music, Blackbird Angels has emerged as a beacon of rock nostalgia, seamlessly blending the sounds of the ’70s and ’80s with a modern rock feel. Their debut album, “Solsorte,” is a testament to this unique blend, taking listeners on a journey through time.

The band is the brainchild of two rock legends: guitarist Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns fame and bassist/vocalist Todd Kerns, known for his work with Slash, Toque, and Heroes and Monsters. Their collaboration was a decade in the making, and the result is an energetic stack of rock n’ roll badassery. The duo’s shared admiration for iconic bands like Led Zeppelin, Peter Frampton, and Bad Company shines through in their music, but with a fresh twist that should also appeal to modern rock aficionados.

From the get-go, “Solsorte” captivates with its opening track, Shut Up (You Know I Love You), a gritty riff-driven anthem that sets the tone for the entire album. The guitar work by Tracii Guns is reminiscent of the raw energy of ’70s rock, while Todd Kerns’ powerful vocals shower it with a glossy edge.

Picking up the pace, Mine (All Mine) showcases the band’s ability to blend heavy rock with melodic undertones. Guns’ guitar work is particularly notable here, with a driving riff that pushes the song forward throughout. The solo adds a bluesy touch, taking the listener on an unpredictable journey. Kerns’ vocals are assertive, echoing the song’s possessive title.

On and On/Over and Over is a departure from the album’s more hard-hitting tracks, channeling the essence of vintage psychedelic blues/rock. It’s a sprawling, hypnotic track that showcases the band’s musical maturity. The sparse instrumentation allows each element to shine, from melodic guitar lines to Kerns’ emotive vocals.

Unbroken stands out for its heavy, mid-tempo groove. Guns lays down a massive riff that anchors the song, while the rest of the band builds upon this foundation to create a modern rock masterpiece. The riff is reminiscent of early Black Sabbath — a killer feel. There’s a contemporary edge to this track, but it stays rooted in classic rock influence.

Scream Bloody Murder is a testament to Blackbird Angels’ versatility and groove. It’s a hard-rocking number that showcases the band’s ability to craft catchy melodies without sacrificing that rock ‘n’ roll edge. Kerns’ vocals are particularly powerful here, driving home the song’s message with passion and conviction.

But what truly sets Blackbird Angels apart is their genuine love and respect for the music that inspired them. This passion is evident in every chord, every lyric, and every note of “Solsorte.” It’s a love letter to the golden era of rock, crafted with modern sensibilities.

“Solsorte” is a must-listen for any rock enthusiast. So many artists putting out new music later in their career feel like a skeleton of their former selves. That is not Blackbird Angels.

Whether you’re a fan of classic rock or contemporary tunes, Blackbird Angels has something for everyone. So, if you’re yearning for a taste of the past with a sprinkle of the present, look no further than “Solsorte.”