There is no sticky second album hurdle for Kris Barras to jump over. If anything, he's leaped over the success of his first and kept on running. At 13 tracks, it does feel as though he's kept going with it for longer than necessary; 10 tracks would have been more than enough to show the quality of his work. But he has had a whirlwind 18 months, where he's hardly had time to touch the ground, so perhaps it's not surprising that he's kept on moving. He's had his own headline shows, supported Beth Hart and Joanne Shaw-Taylor, joined Supersonic Blues Machine and gone on the road with Walter Trout and Johnny Lang and found time to make another album! (Now I've got the constructive criticism out of the way, it's time to focus on the album's strengths - of which there are many.)
This time around he's taken inspiration from the road and those around him and stepped outside his comfort zone. This is evident in his songwriting and the first few tracks on the album just fly. He's certainly risen to the bar he's set for himself. What You Get, Broken Teeth and Vegas Son all contain the ingredients of the blues rock fire that put Barras in the spotlight. Rain offers an unexpected love song at the halfway stage and gives us another side to the musical attack that we are used to seeing onstage. Pride is Forever is a suitable album closer which takes the notion that pain is temporary, pride is forever and builds a solid base for Barras' mindset and future musical legacy. He's delivered two superb albums in a very short space of time, and it doesn't feel as though he's peaked - that's certainly something to be proud of.
Groupie Rating 4/5