Black Stone Cherry is set to release their seventh studio album, The Human Condition, on October 30th via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group. The collection will be available on Red Transparent Vinyl, Limited Edition CD Boxset and Digitally.
The Human Condition was completed mere days before the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed and as events progressed, it became apparent that the album the Kentucky band were completing featured lyrics that were eerily prescient.
“There was a real urgency and fear of the unknown during those sessions – it was a scary time,” recalls drummer, John Fred Young. “Every song on this album tells a story of the experiences we all go through – our happiness, our struggles, and how we have to adapt.” The album’s opening lyrics are: “People, people, your attention please, I need to tell you about a new disease” (from “Ringin’ In My Head”). The song was written 4 years ago, but powerfully captures the hysteria around the COVID-19 outbreak. On “Push Down & Turn,” BSC masterfully use space to achieve crushing swamp-metal dynamics. The stirring track talks about mental health, boldly advocating getting treatment if you’re struggling. “I suffer from manic depression and I have severe anxiety. I want to convey it’s okay to go to a doctor and talk about these issues. There is no shame or stigma there,” vocalist / guitarist Chris Robertson shares.
The Human Condition was self-produced and tracked in bassist Jon Lawhon’s recording facility, Monocle Studios. The guys went in with four songs, wrote some new ones and recorded a few beloved, unreleased favorites. For the first time, the band opted to not record basics live and instead meticulously multi tracked. Each member endured grueling sessions to ensure the collective studio mindset of achieving “epic performances.” The results are stunning; the grooves feel organic, the riffs are mountainous, the performances are urgent and the hooks shine gloriously. Sonically, The Human Condition is one of BSC’s most visceral and hooky releases. Guitarist/vocalist Ben Wells explains, “With this one, we cranked up the amps, the drums are in your face, and there are some really heavy riffs. After 19 years and 7 albums, we wanted to prove that we still kick ass. This album feels like a rebirth.”
The complete track listing features, “Ringin’ In My Head,” “Again,” “Push Down & Turn,” “When Angels Learn To Fly,” “Live This Way,” “In Love With The Pain,” “The Chain,” “Ride,” “If My Heart Had Wings,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Some Stories,” “The Devil In Your Eyes,” and “Keep On Keepin’ On.”
“When I listen back to this record, I feel all these different emotions,” Lawhon says. “We started when we were teens, and life has taken its course, especially now. Through it all, your heart and your perspectives change, but one thing that hasn’t changed is our connection as friends.” Chris affirms: “This is a brotherhood. It’s been amazing to stick around with all four original members and still be inspired. Here’s to 7 more albums and another 19 years!”
*Feature image © Mike Rodway courtesy of SKH Music