WAYWARD SONS – The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be [Japan Edition +1] (2019)
Following the critically acclaimed release of 2017 debut album “Ghosts Of Yet To Come”, WAYWARD SONS return with a new album, “The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be”, on October 11th via Frontiers Music, while this Japanese Edition including a bonus track appeared today.
Keeping the line-up intact for this new opus Wayward Sons haven’t skipped a beat in continuing on with a hearty hard rock and melody filled album.
For those that are new to Wayward Sons, the full line up is Toby Jepson (Little Angels, Fastway, Gun), guitarist Sam Wood (Treason Kings), bassist Nic Wastell (Chrome Molly), drummer Phil Martini (Spear of Destiny, Quireboys, Joe Elliot’s Down and Outz) and Dave Kemp (Little Angels).
Those two and a bit years since they formed have seen them gel as a unit after a relentless touring schedule that has seen them support Saxon, Inglorious, Steel Panther, Living Color, Tesla and UFO, entertain festival crowds at Download, Ramblin Man, Stone Deaf and Hard Rock Hell plus a whole host of their own dates as headliners.
From the first note on the opening track “Any Other Way”, it’s clear they are serious about writing music they love to perform. The edgy, intent, repetitive electric guitar picking that opens the first track breaks wide open to a glorious full band musical assault and vocals to match the intensity.
This is classic hard rock, but mixed with a vitality and energy – both musically and lyrically.
It doesn’t stop either as the album moves into “As Black As Sin”. Full intensity rolls straight through this track and only slows down with follower “Joke’s On You”. Not that it’s even a full tempo slow down, just minor and a bit more melody with an infusion that feel’s a bit 70s into early 80s hard rock influence.
Three tracks in and what is evident is that all the songs are distinctly different to each other yet all clearly fall into what Wayward Sons are about. Track four, “Little White Lies” has a real slow burning, almost smouldering start to it before developing into a luscious mid-tempo rocker with some heavy Queen influences in the guitar work. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking that Brian May himself had played the guitar parts, they are that good.
“Feel Good Hit” has one of those to die for choruses that just gets you singing along at will. Kicking in with a majestic staccato guitar part it turns into a really powerful track and sees Toby really let rip with his vocal parts, It is a compelling number full of harmonies with the guitars and rhythm section driving the song throughout and leads us nicely into “Fade Away”, which is just a gargantuan piece of music.
The first minute of this song, with Dave’s keyboard / piano parts so prominent really grabs your attention and your heart. It is poetic balladry at it’s finest and the way the track then builds over the next minute or so is just spellbinding, It is a monstrous song that makes you think of so many of the great 70’s icons in the way it is written and then to top it all off you get yet another Queen inspired guitar solo and guitar sound that sent me into dreamland.
For me, “Fade Away” is the icing on the cake to a stunningly great album. It shows the versatility in the band, both in their playing and songwriting and if we were still in a world where rock bands got decent radio play on the mainstream stations it would open them up to a whole new fanbase much like Wanted Dead Or Alive did for Bon Jovi, or November Rain did for Guns N’ Roses.
In fact, this song is easily as good as both of those and deserves to be talked about alongside them.
“Have It Your Own Way” takes the temp right back up again, a fast paced rocker with a punchy intro and riff throughout and then there is “Long Line of Pretenders” next. Another track with Mr Kemps keyboards very prominent and yet another different guitar sound.
“(If Only) God Was Real” is a real in your face rocker. Intense, electrifying and a track that needs to be played loud. The power in the rhythm section of Phil and Nick is right there and the onslaught of guitars from Toby and Sam is just monumental.
Title track “The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be” is a divine plodding rocker with a mesmerising beat to it. Built around a killer riff with some glorious time changes and lyrically just out of this world. It starts drawing us to the end of the album but not before the band take the tempo right back up again with “Punchline”, a fast, fast, fast paced song that is aggressive, yet harmonious and melodic. It has time changes, another rip roaring guitar solo and a sudden finish that catches you off guard.
This is Wayward Sons rocking at their best!
On “Us Against The World”, like many of the tracks on the album, you can hear the influences they have pulled from yesteryear, whether it be Queen, Bowie, UFO or any of those other greats. Some bands would just love to write one song of this quality but Toby and his band of Wayward Sons have written a whole album of them. Each track is equally different but equally appealing. Just compare this last track to it’s predecessor and you will know what I mean.
Just when you think that is it, the album runs silently on and you get a gem of a hidden track called “Totally Screwed”. Whatever you do don’t miss this as it has a real jump up and down beat to it. It is an angry sing-a-long party number full of angst fuelled lyrics.
“The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be” is just one complete album of killer tracks. It is full of songwriting of the highest calibre and really captures the feel and energy of the band perfectly. Wayward Sons should be proud of this album and quite rightly so.
Their first record laid the foundations for them and this new one has built on those foundations in quite spectacular fashion.
Go out and buy “The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be”, otherwise you will be missing out on one of the best hard rock / classic rock albums of 2019.
01. Any Other Way
02. Black As Sin
03. Joke’s On You
04. Little White Lies
05. Feel Good Hit
06. Fade Away
07. Have It Your Own Way
08. Long Line Of Pretenders
09. (If Only) God Was Real
10. The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be
12. Us Against The World / Totally Screwed (hidden track)
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
13. Joke’s On You (different version)
Toby Jepson (Vocals, Guitar)
Sam Wood (Guitar)
Nic Wastell (Bass)
Dave Kemp (Keyboards)
Phil Martini (Drums)