Sound — 9
When The Answer heard that their fans included the likes of Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, the Northern Ireland quartet probably figured they were headed in the right direction. Not soon after, they had also garnered the attention of none other than AC/DC, who presented The Answer with the coveted opening spot on it's Black Ice Tour. And right about now, the band is seemingly honing in on mega-star status. It's true that The Answer's sound is heavily steeped in a variety of classic rock bands, and you're likely to hear the influences coming through pretty much every track on the band's 2nd studio album Everyday Demons. The fact that the band does it well is probably what is most impressive, and there are thousands of classic rock fans will be singing The Answer's praises by this time next year. Each track on Everyday Demons will undoubtedly have you thinking back to some of the rock greats. Not surprisingly, there are elements of the Rolling Stones, and the stagnated chord work of Too Far Gone is a prime example. That particular tune is rounded out by an extremely effective wah solo in the style of Slash, and guitarist Paul Mahon is integral in keeping the gritty riff work coming in each of the 11 tracks. If you're worried right about now that The Answer is a carbon copy of every other band, don't fret too long. The band still injects it's own style into every song, and by the end Everyday Demons you'll probably be hooked. It's not a huge shocker that Jimmy Page became an instant fan, particularly in tracks like Walkin' Mat and Comfort Zone. If you tend to enjoy the groove-oriented licks in Zeppelin tracks like Black Dog, then you'll eat up Walkin' Mat. At the other end of the spectrum is the Middle-Eastern-influenced Comfort Zone, which in some ways recalls Kashmir. Mahon's gritty riff work that has been a huge highlight of The Answer's music (they certainly convinced the people at Guitar Hero World Tour), but vocalist Cormac Neeson will be gaining many a fan for his astounding range, which can reach super-high notes. In fact, there are moments when Neeson can give Robert Plant himself a run for his money (not to mention that he bears a striking to him onstage at times). If you want to catch Neeson at his most amazing, immediately listen to Cry Out.
Lyrics — 8
The Answer's lyrics mimic the musical side in the fact that they tend to also follow a classic rock format. You won't find anything too unusual on Everyday Demons, but Neeson's phrasing and occasional humor give the lyrics the necessary impact. On And On has a familiar feel with lyrics such as So doctor, take a hammer to my broken heart; Can you tell me why; I've got trouble on my mind They follow the usual blues rock standard, but Neeson's delivery and phrasing are what sells that song and the entire CD in the end.
Overall Impression — 9
The Answer combines all the best parts about classic rock bands, which is why they'll likely have staying power. Enjoy a bit of Slash in your solo? Check out Too Far Gone. Love the way AC/DC songs begin? You'll enjoy Tonight. The list goes on and on, but The Answer wisely injects it's own style into every moment where you might start to recall a different band. And most importantly? This is one band that has the musical chops to pull it all off.