Artist: Winchester Rebels
Album: Three Sheets to the Wind
Label: Winchester Rebels
Reviewer: Sam Smith
Date: Mar 13, 2012



 

Drawing inspiration from some of the greatest and most influential bands of the 1990’s, Californian rockers, Winchester Rebels have certainly shown how fantastic new Hard Rock records can be with their 2011 release, ‘Three Sheets to The Wind’.

The band formed in 2009 in Santa Barbara, CA, when singer Nick Hunt and bassist John Livergood teamed up with the idea in mind to make music similar to that of Alice In Chains,  Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and the like; while embracing a sound all their own. With an idea in mind, it was time to fill in the spaces where musicians were needed; rounding out the band are guitarists Nick Fitzgerald and James Longoria and drummer Barry Carter.  

The best way to get an idea of the band is to hear ‘Three Sheets to The Wind’. Immediately, the band displays so many favorable traits of musicians. The first track, “Private Angel” hits you hard, with heavy percussion and guitars boasting the work of very talented musicians; all of which pair nicely with Hunt’s vocals. Song number three, “Loaded Gun”, begins similar to the first and second, but that is not to say that this band is “one note”. While geared in the same direction, each song holds certain nuances that really set it apart from the ones before and after it. “Loaded Gun” is a strong track, with very catchy melodies and impressive effort from the band. The fifth track, “Dining With Devils” stuck out to me in such a positive way. The instrumental aspects of the song are just slightly more reserved than its predecessors, placing an extra emphasis on the vocal side of things. Hunt’s voice soars on, accompanied by dead-on harmonies throughout the entirety of this beautifully written song, a definite must-hear for any fans of the genre. “Down”, song number six has a sound all its own. The guitars and bass all begin quickly, almost clipped sounding; this with the simple, yet strong percussion and somewhat reserved vocals from Hunt make for a very interesting verse structure. At the chorus, everything opens up, blossoming in to what one should expect from WR at this point. I particularly enjoyed the guitar work in “Down”, both Livergood and Longoria showing that they know their way around the instrument. The tenth and final song is called “Desolate”, again an extremely listenable track from WR. The lyrics, much like the other songs are very strong on their own, something I very much enjoy about this band.

All in all ‘Three Sheets to The Wind’ is an incredible Hard Rock release; the men of Winchester Rebels, while all very talented musicians, also obviously had a very clear image in mind of what they wanted to do with this album. There is a staying power and radio-readiness here that is somewhat rare in the world of freshman releases, and for those of us yearning for music on par with the favorites of past artists, done in a fresh and flawless way, ‘Three Sheets to the Wind’ is for you.


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