The Rare Breed are one of those rare spectacles whose natural sound is deeply grooved in a classic formula that still rings strong with an identity of their own. The Rare Breed released a self-titled EP in 2015 and a follow up single in 2016 before being picked up by Ripple Music for the release of their full-length debut, ‘Looking for Today’. Performing as a three-piece, The Rare Breed channels their own groovy take on the Black Sabbath/stoner rock influences the music is derived from; the mix of their own original panache and the tried and true stoner rock values come together to create one of the hottest debut albums to come from an LA band.
That seems to be the sentiment with most bands Ripple Music picks up these days, and The Rare Breed continues that glorious momentum with this unforgettable debut. The record opens up with the atmosphere-setting instrumental ‘Funeral Pyre’, a track brimming with an alluring melodrama that has you fully absorbed in the contents of the album from the first second.
The Rare Breed do consider themselves to be “Sabbath Worshippers”, and while that’s reflected in their music it doesn’t completely encapsulate their true identity as self-sufficient rockers. However, to help you come to a quick conclusion on what you can expect from ‘Looking for Today’, it’s very in line with the tones of Black Sabbath’s legendary Vol. 4 album. Less of the doomy ‘War Pigs’ Sabbath and more along the lines of the harmonic, melodically focused tracks like ‘Wheels of Confusion’ and ‘Supernaut’.
‘Looking for Today’ drives itself off the melodic fuel of tracks such as ‘Rusted Diamond’ and ‘Mountain of Dreams’. One of my favorite things about the album is the infectiousness of the grooves presented all throughout. There’s not one track on here that won’t pull you into a groove-induced stupor. It’s the kind of album that forces your brain off as you become engrossed in the driving rhythmic beats of the bass and drums backing the richly-flowing guitar magic abundant all throughout.
There are a few “runaway” tracks on this album, songs that absolutely steal your soul with relentless prejudice for the brief run-time in which the song plays out. You have the track ‘Visions’, which is the grooviest of groovers, it’s the bangiest of bangers, a titan among beasts. It’s a track that defines the style of The Rare Breed; it registers strongly among the Black Sabbath conditioned areas in our brain while still flaring up the various synapses in our head that feeds on originality.
If ‘Visions’ doesn’t get your brain lit up, which I’d have to chalk up to malfunction on your part if the album isn’t spiking your adrenaline tenfold, then the immediate follow up track ‘Echoes’ will set you right. This track flies on the power of the vocal work; the quality of singer Oscar De La Torre’s voice hits many peaks throughout the album, yet on ‘Echoes’ it rings something extra fierce.
The last third of the album really blasts off from what was set up in the first few tracks; like a rocketship blasting off the landing pad. The trio of ‘Visions’, ‘Echo From the Sun’ and ‘Witches Lore’ ramps up the “already tuned to 11” record to a full on 20. There’s not a single soft spot in this record; no slowdowns or break-ups between the bangers.
This debut record by the Rare Breed is completely accessible to all camps of metal and rock followers. The casual fan, the diehard, the 14 year old discovering metal and the 45 year old fully set in their musical explorations; this record is what metal needs nowadays. A piece of work that can band all walks of metal life together. You may find that a melodramatic statement, yet there is a serious need for bands that can entertain the casual fans and elitists alike and bring them all together. That’s the kind of the band The Rare Breed is, and based on the quality of their debut album and their mighty live performances there’s a lot to look forward not only in this band’s future, but their present.
– by Ryan Falla
Record Label: Ripple Music
Release Date: June 22 2018
1. Funeral Pyre (1:16)
2. The Stranger (6:34)
3. Mountain of Dreams (5:16)
4. Rusted Diamond (6:52)
5. Visions (5:43)
6. Echo From the Sun (3:46)
7. Witches Lore (6:49)