How many reviews of THE ANSWER's "Everyday Demons" do you think you'll read that don't make reference to "classic rock", Guitar Hero, the AC/DC tour, or all three? Probably most would be my guess (you obviously just read one here). That THE ANSWER has been hailed by many critics as the saviors of classic rock, landed a song on Guitar Hero, and were handpicked by AC/DC for their 2008 U.S. surely isn't coincidence or the mere product of the ever-churning hype machine, is it? It's not. THE ANSWER is the real deal on stage (I've witnessed it) and in the studio ("Everyday Demons" is a damn fine rock 'n roll record).
Classifying "Everyday Demons" as classic rock can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how one looks at it. Is it a style of music beloved by the throngs that continue to swear by their local FM station or is it dated music played by dinosaurs? The silliness and basic irrelevance of the latter seems obvious, while the answer to the former should be universally understood. Regardless, the description is necessary to give the majority of readers a point of reference. Let's face it, it is impossible to reference bands like BAD COMPANY, LED ZEPPELIN, and even THE BLACK CROWES (all bands that share some similarities with THE ANSWER) and not think "classic rock".
That alone wouldn't do "Everyday Demons" justice though. There is freshness and individuality working hand in glove with the roots-based familiarity that can't be as easily pigeonholed as one might think. Of course the music in many respects is an amplified, energetic fusion of blues and rock 'n roll. What else would you expect? You need only listen to "Cry Out" and its sleazy slide guitar and involuntary toe-tapping sensibilities to hear it, although the cut is the purest of the blues-based numbers.
It appears in varying degrees, but it's always there, even when the upbeat cuts like "Pride" don't make it quite as obvious or when you're too busy riding a Rod Stewart melody on "Tonight" to think about it as much. But when the worlds of kick-ass rock and blues boogie are unleashed on "Walkin' Mat" and Cormac Neeson is pushing his shimmy and shuffle to the limit while belting out his own version of a Paul Rodgers-by-way-of-Robert-Plant delivery that the roof is brought down. The same goes for the two opening tunes ("Demon Eyes" and "Too Far Gone") that are so righteously rockin' and boogie born it almost makes the songs that follow anticlimactic (but not really, so don't worry). I'm not saying that the rock doesn't keep rolling on "Dead of the Night" or "On and On" too, only that the two openers are impossible to top.
The album's mellower moments (e.g. "Comfort Zone") aren't quite as heavenly, yet solid just the same. And you'll need the break before "Evil Man" and U.S. bonus track "Revolutions" (which is just as strong as the other tracks, mind you) get those asses moving one last time. The rock to which we referred at the beginning of this review is called "classic," not only because it defined a movement for a generation, but also because it stood the test of time. The members of THE ANSWER seem to understand that better than most.