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Cherokee - Blood and Gold

Blood and Gold
by Hutch at 08 December 2021, 1:45 AM

When a band states on their social media that they ‘may’ have named their band to slot between your Cher and Chris DeBurgh albums, you know that they have a sense of humour! When you discover that CHEROKEE are from Germany, then more stereotypes are dispelled. Throw in an eclectic mix of everything from hard rock to soulful Country and Western and you have an album that deserves further investigation.

Although the band formed in Cologne seven years ago, “Blood & Gold” is their debut full-length and they have made the most of it, cramming 15 songs in just over an hour of music. The musicianship is of a high quality, with the Southern guitar battle that rages towards the end of “Il Grande Silenzo” reminiscent of those lengthy duels hammered out by SKYNYRD and HATCHET in the late seventies. It adds character and brings something a little different to the table; this is a band not afraid to take risks and throw in the odd curved ball.

Vocalist Laura Vesprini brings a sultry, smoky delivery, her ability to manage the lower notes as well as hitting the higher keys along with her heavy Germanic accent bringing occasional echoes not only of the Metal Queen, Doro Pesch, but also the likes of Elin Larsson (BLUES PILLS) and Jennie-Ann Smith (AVATARIUM). CHEROKEE’s standard approach is old school hard rock, the band having more than a touch of the Thin Lizzy style about them, with the dual guitar work of Simon Siantidis and Alexander Kleusch at times reminiscent of the classic interplay between Scott Gorman and Brian Robertson. This is particularly the case on “My Sweet Tulip” and the gentle “Just One Summer Long”, both having echoes of Lizzy in their prime.

CHEROKEE can certainly play, with one of the earlier releases from the record, “Sigourney” a fabulous musical workout that allows the whole band to show their chops. There’s also plenty of variety, with the up-tempo beat of “Song for RG” bringing that country and rock blend to the fore. It’s impossible not to tap the feet as this track races along, once more allowing the fluid guitar playing to ease into primary position.

Whilst the album may be a little too long to maintain everyone’s attention, the way in which CHEROKEE craft their music is a delight and if you have the time to kick back and absorb this release, then it shouldn’t be a challenge at all. Their full throttle approach draws you back in if you find yourself wandering; “Rite of Peyote” thumps along, with Vesprini once more bringing her vocals front and centre before allowing yet another fabulous guitar duel to take place. And if you want a complete change of pace then the psychedelic blues rocker “To Destroy Life”, possibly the best track on this fabulous album should really get you dancing whilst the soulful “Following My Blues” is another sweet song, both of which highlight the quality of Vesprini’s cracking performance.

This really is an album for all to enjoy. You can’t fault any of the tracks, the vibe and the energy are infectious and the only real thing you can do at the finish is to hit play once more.

Song writing:  8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Bill Pullman
2. My Sweet Tulip
3. Just One Summer Long
4. Il Grande Silenzio
5. Ride by Night
6. Sigourney
7. Song for RG
8. The Nightingale and the Red Rose
9. Rite of Peyote
10. Malinche
11. Mother Nature’s Child
12. Ridin Free
13. To Destroy Life
14. Following My Blues
15. Warriors of the Rainbow
Laura Vesprini - Vocals
Simon Siantidis - Guitar
Alexander Beda Maria Kleusch - Guitar
Fabian Albert Dey - Bass
Fabian Kampa - Drums
Record Label: Dying Victims Productions


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