Rank Berry are a Glaswegian classic rock band who seem to be breaking the usual mould. Louder Than War’s Joe Whyte investigates.
Despite the rather not-very-good band name (putting “Rank” in your name is just asking for it in Glasgow, I reckon), these lads have been making waves in a city that is becalmed in indie-schmindie-land for the most part. Taking their cues from the swaggering, lean and mean rockin’ of The Stones, Skynyrd, Free and The Black Crowes, they’ve chucked a hefty dose of punk attitude into their raw, untamed blues-stew.
Forming a few years ago, they defiantly eschewed the trendy and embraced the outsider tag that suits them so well. With a debut three track, self titled EP creating a stir, they’re definitely one to watch in the coming year. The songs are well-crafted, sharply-honed and energy-filled. The musicianship is classy with just the right amount of flash, and the song-writing belies the youth of the band. The twin guitars of front-man Jamie O’Donnell and Brian Kerr conjure up a bad voodoo of snaking, interlocking lead lines and crunching power chords, while the rhythm section of Marc Doherty on bass and Grant Dallas on drums power the songs along in some style. Down The River opens proceedings and is a shimmering, down-home rocker with an odd ethereal edge to its gliding sleaze. There is a real honesty that shines out of the songs on the EP; this is a band that know what they want to sound like. They’re not interested in pleasing the hipsters or chasing the record deal so precious to many young bands. These guys do it for the sheer raw, visceral joy of putting their pointy-booted feet on the monitors and giving it some pedal-to-the metal.
This Disease and Good Times (which reminds me a lot of the much-missed Dogs D’Amour) are the other two songs on the debut and if they’re indicative of what’s to come, the forthcoming album should be quite something. With a swathe of support slots this year, the band are gathering a following of like-minded believers in the redemptive power of proper rock and roll.
All words by Joe Whyte, more from Joe can be found at his Louder Than War Author’s Archive.