Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics - 'The Man With Stars On His Knees' (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Thursday, 20 April 2017 04:30

Aaron Buchanan artworkAfter leaving Heaven's Basement in 2015 citing the old 'musical differences', vocalist Aaron Buchanan put together The Cult Classics with his sister Laurie Buchanan on guitar, Tom McCarthy on guitar, Chris Guyatt on bass and Kev Hickman on drums. Following a tour late last year with InMe, the band now release their debut long player 'The Man With Stars On His Knees'. 


Written in part, during the sessions for Heavens Basement final album 'Filthy Empire', the lyrical themes on the album were born from emotional struggles from within, following a period of confusion, anger and upset in the singer's life. Challenging times and extreme emotions can certainly bring out the best in a songwriter, and can only fuel the fires and ignite the passion that leads to quality songwriting methinks.


What's clear from the opening one-two on their debut long player is that Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics have a larger than life, confident sound that will have fans of Heaven's Basement and Classic Rock in general salivating in their leather pants for more.


Electro based intro 'Show Me What Your Made Of' leads into the rampant and cocksure 'All The Things You've Said And Done', an opener proper, full of urgency and self-belief. This is a stadium-sized chunk of rock in the vein of Velvet Revolver, just the sort of sound we need in a climate that keeps telling us rock, and rock stars in-particular, are dead. 


'Dancin' Down Below' showcases Buchanan's dynamic vocal range, at the age of 26 this guy is at the top of his game and it gives the band an instant, trademark sound. The mix of Queen-like backing vocals and a fat, twin guitar sound give this band a very British feel.


But it's not all as generic as you may think. They veer into proggy territory on the likes of 'The Devil That Needs You' with its tribal beats and tripped-out, space rock style closing section.



Likewise, 'Journey Out Of Here' has a feel of 30 Seconds To Mars to it. A laidback verse builds on tribal beats and chorus effect ridden, picked guitar chords, that build to a rousing, driving 'lighters in the air' chorus. An epic and dramatic solo section adds that almost progressive nature to the song.


There's 90's Seattle vibes going on too. The dark and dramatic 'A God Is No Friend' with its moody guitars and soaring vocals, hints at Alice In Chains, while the grungy, de-tuned vibe of 'Mind Of Mute' brings to mind Soundgarden doing Sabbath. 


They bring things down on the emotive title track. From the solitary, heartfelt Freddie Mercury style vocal delivery to the Brian May inspired harmony guitar solo, there is only one band that can be referenced on this stunning track.


With its camp 70's rock vibes and full on theatrics, 'Morals' finishes things off in style, proving beyond doubt that this band has more than one ace in the pack so to speak. 


And it seems they have more in reserve too. It's worth noting that on the end of my review copy is an uncredited song called 'Fire In The Fields Of Mayhem' that is simply incredible.  A camped-up, rock classic that channels Queen, The Struts and Foxy Shazam in equal measures, it should've been on the album but criminally is not. Fear not though, it is available through PledgeMusic on a signed CD single and well worth the asking price it is too, in my humble opinion. So get on over and get buying music lovers and tell them Uber Rock sent ya!


While 'The Man With Stars On His Knees' is a theatrical, stadium-sized chunk of rock, the ghost of 90s Seattle weighs heavily in the wings at every performance giving it that certain edginess. So if you like the idea of a band that mixes up grandiose 70's rock stylings with grungy goodness to great effect and rocks with the power and confidence that is required for arenas, then jump on in as this cracking and confident debut album has a lot to offer.


'The Man With Stars On His Knees' is released on 26 May. You can buy your copy HERE.


Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics play the following live dates:


Thursday 18 May – Ipswich, The Smokehouse

Friday 26 May – Norwich, The Waterfront

Saturday 3 Junes – Camden Rocks

Sunday 11 June – Download Festival

Sunday 25 June – Wildfire Festival

Saturday 29 July – Ramblin’ Man Fair




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