It's easy to write off Downpatrick four-piece The Answer as just another imitation classic rock band. There's remarkably little originality on offer here, and nothing unique to distinguish them from a hoard of guitar toting peers. The enormous debts they owe to AC/DC (not least a supporting slot on their Black Ice world tour), are most clear in Cormac Neeson's almost clone-like screech, but The Answer feed off a plethora of veterans and greats including Led Zeppelin, Guns 'n' Roses, Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith and countless others, making them sound, regrettably, like everything you've ever heard before.
But, let us come down off our music snob high horses and be fair for a minute. The Answer are not striving for originality; they just wanna rawk, and that they do with gusto. There's some crafty crisply distorted guitar work, rockin' riffs, reverb aplenty, thundering drums, grounding backing vocals - in short, everything you'd expect from a cleanly produced epic rock album like Everyday Demons - with a harmonica thrown in for good measure. It's catchy, even, with gargantuan solos fit for any air guitar catalogue. It comes complete with token slow ballad "Comfort Zone," which, in The Answer's defence, is less the power ballad of a stadium rock band, and more akin to the electric pluckings of Biffy Clyro's mellower moments.
Sure, it's a tad on the formulaic side, but it's a formula that's worked for many legendary bands before them, and which they execute with proficiency and what seems like genuine love for their craft. Though sadly, this total dedication to their chosen genre in its purest form is what robs The Answer of anything more than mere hints of personality. Fans of standard hard rock are sure to find oodles of drool-worthy moments here; the building break of "Demon Eyes", the panning rumbling drums that open "Too Far Gone", the twin guitar solo of "Dead of the Night", the delayed oohs of "Evil Man" etc. Unfortunately, if the genre aint your thing, it's doubtful The Answer will stand out long enough for you to notice.