Gravel has just released their latest album, 14 Years, in July and it is already making a lot of headway. Their songs have already been featured on 92.1 All Natives and 97.9X and are still in rotation. You can find the entire album up on YouTube.
I gave the album a listen myself and honestly, I’m on the fence, but that entirely has to do with my own music preference. So, let’s get my own bias out of the way here. I am not a fan of Dio’s Black Sabbath nor Metallica nor other 90’s melodic hard rock. I don’t know what it is, I just don’t like the sound, it grinds against me the wrong way (the closest I get to and enjoy is Alice in Chains, which Gravel has a similar touch in sound to in a few of their songs). However, I know that there are people who love those bands and that style of music, so I’m not writing Gravel or their new album off as bad, because the truth is, this is a very professional sounding album.
The vocals and instrumentals are clear, neither drown the other out, which is a big pet peeve of mine (ya’ll are listening to your work before you release it…right?). Not only are the vocals and instrumentals super clear and balanced, but they both flow well together, creating cohesive songs. While I’m not a fan of this kind of rock, I could have it on in the background and not hate it. The whole album has solid rhythm and nothing here is clashing.
As I mentioned, the vocals are clear on this album, which I always appreciate, but in and of themselves, they are also pleasant, soft, melodic, but the rhythm and the instrumentals keep each song on a steady hard rock path. This mixture of a soft touch on hard rock is really working for them and it’s clear that the band has quite a bit of potential.
Be sure to check out the album, 14 Years, for yourself and follow the band to keep up to date on their work!