Album Review: Ramblin’ Preachers – Sins & Virtues

The Breakdown

The Ramblin' Preachers deliver your soundtrack of the summer

Sin and Virtues is the debut album from Southern Rockers Ramblin’ Preachers. Chock full of Americana bluesy rock riffs and screaming solos that the band have become known for, produced and recorded by Nick Burns, with further production, mixing & mastering carried out by Wayne Proctor. The album portrays aspects of the ‘7 Deadly Sins’ and the ‘7 Heavenly Virtues’ within its content as well as taking influence from the Classic Rock, Blues and Southern Rock bands of the past, but giving it a modern twist.

The album sets the path for the future of the band. Vocalist and Rhythm Guitarist Ross Connor says ‘I try
not to write too many love songs. Instead, I try to take my own life experiences, moments I’ve observed,
or emotions and actions I see from other people. I reworked a lot of the lyrics before we started
recording to get them to a place where they truly meant something to me, and I hope listeners can
relate too. I think that’s so important in the music that we play’.

‘Separate Ways’ is the perfect start to this album. A steady country rock riff and those ruffled velvet vocals from Ross Connor. Get those air guitars at the ready as this is an album full of some serious guitar moments. The call and response of ‘Keep On’ in particular keeps the groove going with a nod to James Ives’s simpler melodic runs.

‘Jealousy’ with its explosive chorus, and speaker destroying guitar solo demands to be played at a high volume. Lead guitarist James Ives was meant to play this kind of music and the bluesy ‘Keep Doing You’ sees him lay down some perfect blue tinted licks and a face full of distortion solo.

Jester is an epic moment on the album. With intimate and heartfelt lyrics this is quality songwriting and a nice breather on an album of blistering rock riffs. Connor demonstrates some nice dynamic control when it comes to his vocals wringing the emotion out of every syllable.

Forbidden sees the and with their foot hard down on the rock pedal as it picks up where ‘Keep On’ and ‘Keep Doing You’. Drummer Richard Baker brings some seriously huge drums on this track as Connor’s bluesy bellow is as fierce as the main riff as they give a platform for Ives to jump straight into rock God mode on the solo.

‘Better Than Me’ Ives pushes the boat out on this one. Another air guitar special along with the tasty riffs of ‘Hard Times’. Not had an album choked full of tasty lead work like that displayed here in a long time. For most of this album, the band have the foot to the floor with ‘Hard Times’ they have a more relaxed approach one the verses that smooth the road ready for the upbeat chorus to pick things up.

Ending as they started with a full blown riff fest of Americana rock, ‘Candles’ is a scorching track is a perfect rock outro to end one hell of an album. Whether it’s James Ives setting fire to his fretboard, Ross Connor’s bluesy bellow, Craig Howes’s majestic throbbing bass thickening the back line or Richard Baker’s drum assaults they all go together to give a rock fan something to get excited about.

A couple of spins will be needed on this album before you can start peeling the layers and getting in deep with the songs. Trust me it’s worth it as you may hear God’s voice within the folds. You can’t go wrong with some solid blues-tinged Americana rock especially when it is played this good.

Reflecting on the album, the band states ‘We really started to find our direction during the recording.
We really wanted it to have the energy and guts of our live performance as that’s where we feel most
at home, and we feel we have got close to that’.

With summer fast approaching it’s time to pick your sounds of the summer. Sins and Virtues is an album that you shouldn’t overlook to soundtrack those hot afternoons. An album is just a small part of this bands sound as these songs are ready to set light to many a stage. Saint’s & Virtues is the safer way of experiencing this band.

Check out the bands track Jealousy, below:

Find out more about the band here

Read our interview with the band here

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