The four hard blues boys know their business well with an assault that was delivered with smart writing and true-believers swagger. It's a robust calling card for their live vibe and for the second album," wrote legendary rock critic David Fricke in his Rolling Stone review of The Answer's 2008 SXSW performance.
There are moments in life when even the most hard-nosed music experts have to catch their breath with excitement. They have heard a lot, seen a lot - and probably forgotten most of it quickly. But somehow everything seems different about newcomer rock act, The Answer, from Northern Ireland: although you clearly feel their influences (mainly legends such as Free, Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes and Cream), you immediately sense this ambitioned band's great independence and unconditional topicality. Nothing sounds stale or cribbed; which is a feat in itself, because the foundation of their compositions unmistakably lies in traditional hard rock, which has delighted the masses again and again over the years. The Answer's songs sound so timeless and fresh that you could assume there's some kind of secret recipe or hidden trick behind them. Yet the band's recipe for success appears to be amazingly simple: "Everything we do is basically thoroughly honest," guitarist Paul Mahon describes the band's philosophy. "We're a real team and draw our power from an indestructible inner strength. We jam together at the rehearsal room, combine the ideas of all band members, and the four of us stick together like glue."
The Answer's conquest of North America, which began at SXSW in early 2008 and roared through year's end when they embarked on their first-ever tour of the continent as the opening act for AC/DC's Black Ice juggernaut. They placed a track on Guitar Hero: World Tour and released their debut U.S. title, the EP/DVD Never Too Late . Topping it all off, the band's first North American full-length album, Everyday Demons arrives in March 31st. A real red-letter day for all rock music fans!
Announcing The Answer's Black Ice tour spot in Fall '08, Rolling Stone wrote in a weekly "Hot List," "No effing wonder AC/DC tapped these U.K. long-hairs to open…the singer howls like Paul Rodgers, the guitarist shreds like Jimmy Page and the lyrics are as awesomely stupid as ballin' without a rubber." Just two months later, in 2008's annual late December "Hot Issue," the publication hailed the band as " Rock Gods In Training." They wrote, "Lead singer Cormac Neeson has long, golden locks that make him look like a young Robert Plant. Guitarist Paul Mahon could have appeared on a vintage Creem cover." Also in December, after their network television debut on The Late Show, David Letterman proclaimed, "The Answer, single handedly keeping rock and roll alive."
But what exactly is it that makes this band's sound? First of all, there's vocalist Cormac Neeson. An exceptional talent with a smoky, expressive voice and sensational live performance. Once Neeson gets going, the term 'vitality' takes on a whole new meaning. This man has everything that makes a real rock shouter of the type the international music scene comes up with perhaps once or twice in a decade. Paul Mahon plays an impressive guitar, clearly inspired by blues and rhythm'n'blues. His slide solos are among the hottest since Paul Kossoff, his licks and hooks ooze pure energy. Bassist Micky Waters and drummer James Heatley support Cormac Neeson and Paul Mahon as an excellent rhythm group who give structure to The Answer's material with their driving grooves. Impossible not to move every muscle when these four Irishmen start to rock.
Everyday Demons is The Answer's second LP but the first to be released in the US, a masterpiece full of empathy and classic references. While the band is used to comparisons to rock icons such as Led Zeppelin, Free and Thin Lizzy, they're looking to Everyday Demons to bring their own signature sound to the fore—a sound whose 21st century kick is as potent as its formidable 20th century influences. Neeson said "We've been stepping it up a gear in every area, and made an album that sounds distinctly like The Answer, rather than the bands we're compared to. We particularly concentrated on the elements that make us unique, including lyrical content and how we write our songs. We're looking forward to bringing that to America." No matter how hard or dense the tracks, Neeson's commanding vocals are clear and razor sharp, and the sense of immediacy captured during recording is palpable. Mahon is right on the mark when he says, "It sounds like the four of us playing live in a room and has a flair that only an Irish band could produce."
The Answer got together in spring 2000, signed a contract with the legendary Australian rock label, Albert Productions, in 2005 and brought out their debut album, Rise , in 2006. "It took us three or four years to really get noticed," Paul Mahon explains, "but then it all started to happen at once." The band have performed with icons such as the Rolling Stones, The Who and Aerosmith, playing celebrated headlining tours in England, Japan and Australia. Their debut, Rise , was greeted enthusiastically by fans and media alike (the British music bible Kerrang! commented: "The Answer are superstars already" and has sold more than 100,000 copies to date.
The Answer will continue to tour America with AC/DC until the end of January and stay on tour throughout the European leg. "It's simply amazing, a dream has come true for us," Mahon enthuses. "Every night we go out, play in front of an audience, most of whom don't know us and are generally very demanding. Every time we succeed in getting the audience on our side by the end of our show. It's just brilliant!"