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California Breed

4.2 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Former Black Country Communion stars, singer-bassist Glenn Hughes and drummer Jason Bonham, have formed a new band, California Breed with the astoundingly talented 23-year-old singer-guitarist Andrew Watt. Glenn and Jason's impeccable resumes combined with the fact that this album was produced by Dave Cobb, whose spectacular work with Rival Sons has received so much acclaim, gives you a big clue as to what California Breed sounds like.

All 12 tracks on the self-titled forthcoming California Breed album have equal co-writing credits amongst the members. Recorded at Cobb's Nashville studio, 'Everything was done more or less live,' says Hughes.

The end result is a sound that combines all the classic rock elements of BCC big, meat-cleaver riffs and heart-rending vocals with a 21st century gloss that comes from working with someone as up-to-the-minute and talented as Watt.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Frontiers Music Srl
  • ASIN: B00IKM5MGW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,584 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very good album if you like the sounds of the early 70s, A cross between Trapeze and Led Zeppelin, with a touch of Black Sabbath (because the riffs tend to be slow and in minor keys) this band is a stripped-down version of Black Country Communion, without the tasteful guitar work of Joe Bonamassa, but also with less artifice and more power. If you are looking for soaring guitar solos, you will not find them here, but if you love the hard rocking side of Glenn Hughes (as opposed to his Stevie Wonder inspired soul side), you will get a double helping on this album. I do not compare this to Deep Purple, because no band without a keyboard player every really sounds like Deep Purple. Heavy riffs and retro melodies are what this album is about. Reminds me a little of the work Hughes did with Tony Iommi. Frankly, I am glad to have this album, because I am tired of the metal guitar hero clichés, and am ready for some steady, heavy grooves. Five stars from me.
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Most of the comments here seem fixated on comparisons to Black Country Communion, which I guess is fair since 2 of the 4 guys in that band are in this band. So I'll give my perspective. I tried listening to BCC because it sounded like something I'd love, but honestly. . . not really. I liked it, it rocked, but it just wasn't very memorable to me. I feel this way generally about Bonamassa. Great player, indeed, very accomplished musician, but I don't find myself humming any of the tunes from any of the albums he's been associated with including BCC.

In stark contrast, I heard the teaser track "Sweet Tea" from this California Breed album and instantly could not get it out of my head. I watched the video many times, and I NEVER do this for just some tune I heard over the internet. I started looking into the band and found that "Midnight Oil" , the second teaser track, had a similar effect on me. Now that the release date finally has come (I dont' remember waiting so impatiently for a new record to come out in years and years), and I've heard the whole record a couple times I am very pleased to say that most of the songs are sticking with me after only a play or two. I like 'em, I can hum 'em, I can sing the guitar riffs.

That is what makes classic rock classic, folks: the SONGS. Yeah, any number of guitarists can solo for hours at speeds greater than any classic rocker could, but what a lot of that stuff lacks is memorable tunes and riffs that you can't get out of your head after only one listen. Led Zeppelin is so great because of the songwriting first, playing second, for example.
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I'd been looking forward to this release since I heard the advance of the single Sweet Tea. That song stayed in my head for days! Glenn Hughes is amazing on vocals and bass, Jason Bonham is an all-star drummer and newcomer Andrew Watt on guitar is an updated version of a classic player- he really adds a young, yet mature energy to the solid foundation of Hughes & Bonham. The songs are mostly what I expected- solid groove & riff based rock songs by seasoned vets. There are some interesting surprises too- The Way has a haunting, unconventional chorus and All Falls Down is a catchy power ballad that both stick to your ribs. If I had to compare California Breed to other bands I would say Badlands [Jake E. Lee & Ian Gillan], Deep Purple & Led Zep in a blender [Glenn's vocals soar and Jason channel's his father perfectly- paying tribute while still serving the songs]. Can't wait to see them live!
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My first criteria for any recording is good engineering. Could've been better here, especially for a first release. "Chemical Rain" is a good (bad) example. Little if any separation in this song: sounds just like noise to me. There are a few good cuts. "Midnight Oil", "Invisible", "Breathe" do stand on their own. Seems the others are lacking substance. You could lump the rest together and not be able to pick out a difference. And apologies to Robert Palmer but "Sweet Tea" sounds too much like "Simply Irresistible" . Listen and substitute the lyrics. You'll see.

Bonham's drumming is fine, rolls off his toms unique to the Bonham family line. Hughes has such a good voice I don't know why he resorts to shrieking. Just ruins a song for me. Watt could be good in the future but not now. Very ordinary playing that could've been handled by any sideman. For future releases, add some keyboards and I realize (per the dvd) it's a raw recording but I like to hear all the instruments and all the notes much cleaner than what shows here.

We are human so we compare: BCC2 had much more substance (aka Bonamassa), new group the Winery Dogs is the complete package (I've seen them live, awesome). Finally, I'll listen to selective cuts of this new group but it doesn't hold my attention enough to run it non stop all the way through.
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this is a great deluxe edition of this new semi super group wich the legendary glenn hughes is the brainstorm behind, i just saw this band live in nyc om 5/31 and what an awesome show they put on, the music presented here is fantastic classic sounding rock and roll and glenns voice is better then ever!!! i personally feel glenn is trying to hard to plug the new kid on the axe andrew watt who is good but i dont see him being the next huge guitar sensation at this point, anyway this is a well worth while record to own if you like glenns previous work, this is a great rock record with not to much funk added wich glenn is known for, im pleased with the outcome of this record....
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