Black Stone Cherry are one of many country-infused rock bands (or is it rock-infused country?) blasting America with brash tunes and gritty self-explanatory lyrics. Their most recent work, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, is their third album, and while it does boast more finely-tuned production quality than previous releases it is still impossible to ignore the unoriginality. Black Stone Cherry often draw comparisons to Lynyrd Skynyrd, but I feel the similarities lie more with bands like Mountain or Whitesnake, who they had the honor of touring with on some past European dates.
On occasion a little Alice In Chains snarl rears its head in lead singer Chris Robertson’s voice and the guitar of Ben Wells, though any true AIC fan will tell you this is not a band they want appearing on their Pandora radio station. The single here is “White Trash Millionaire” where Robertson sings “I was born this way, no silver spoon to feed a 401k,” though I’m pretty sure he was born to put frogs in mailboxes rather than faking baldness and erupting out of eggs/vessels at awards shows. Alas, I hardly envision BSC erupting at all if they continue to make passé music such as this. Even their effort at a guest spot are ruined, as Lzzy Hale of Halestorm appears on “Won’t Let Go” but is lost in faded backing vocals that are quite poorly utilized.
As I said about Adelita’s Way earlier this month, this crosses into Nickleback territory! I do not want to have to say that about multiple bands. For these Kentucky natives I’m sure that isn’t even a bad thing, Nickleback are a very successful cash cow with less integrity than Anthony Weiner. The higher the track number on Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, the less tolerable. “Can’t You See,” “Stay” and “All I’m Dreamin’ Of” are atrocious while “Killing Floor,” “Blame It On The Boom Boom” and the previously mentioned single sound like potential NFL theme songs. Interpret that however you like, but I think it means that lower middle class America will eat it right up.