US band RICH KID EXPRESS is a fairly recent creation, and is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Rob Richardson. Following a single and an EP he released the Rich Kid Express debut album “Psychodelic” through his own label Squib Kick Records towards the end of 2020.
One thing that impressed me on this album is that Richardson manages to create such a nice band feeling with the songs he have assembled here. Unless you are already aware of the fact, you just wouldn’t start thinking that this is a one man band venture, which is always a good thing.
In terms of the music itself, we are treated to an album with one foot inside the 70’s and the other in the 80’s, with the genre of choice being good, old fashioned hard rock, with a detour or two into more regular rock territories. Familiar sounding material through and through, but for my sake at least I didn’t really hear any of the trademark calling cards that brought me instant associations towards one band or the other. Those who are more well versed than me on this type of music may well uncover such details more readily of course.
The album has something of a swagger to it throughout, visiting quite few different varieties of hard rock along the way. Nice, catchy guitar riffs are central throughout, from dirty blues-tinged affairs to more majestic loud guitars and more dampened, chugging riff sections. Guitar harmony overlays and some fine flowing guitar solo parts comes with the territory, and effective use of both keyboards and organ adds in some finer details here and there. The rhythm section is tight and suitably well put down too, and the vocals fits this type of music perfectly: Dark in tone, raspy in delivery, and with a finer melodic twang applied when needed. By and large the songs are fun and energetic affairs too, and on a couple of occasions I do get the impression that Richardson pokes some fun at a trope or two this type of music is famous for as well.
While I wouldn’t describe “Psychodelic” as a must have album for any collection, those who know and love hard rock made between, say, 1976 and 1983, may well find this production to be suitably entertaining. I also note that this is an album that should function rather well as the soundtrack for a good, old fashioned party – whenever we are allowed to arrange those again.
My rating: 72/100