Review CHEROKEE ‘Blood & Gold’

Besides the Indian tribe, one of the first thoughts that come to mind when reading ‘Cherokee’ is the Europe song from ‘The Final Countdown’. A German band gives the name an additional meaning since Cherokee is the moniker of a quintet, hailing from Cologne, Germany.

The five-piece band was founded in 2014 and after having recorded two demos a line-up change hit the group. Singer Katharina Heldt left the band, and a replacer was needed. The guys found with Laura Vesprini a new bandmember and the first commonly recorded release was an EP called ‘Wakan Tanka Nici Un’. The EP was the springboard for Cherokee to embark on a mini tour, together with Canadian rocker Freeways, all happening in 2019 when band played live in front of a real audience.

What was missing so far was the full-length debut and here it is. ‘Blood & Gold’ is the title of this fifteen songs featuring premier that showcases a band that spreads a warm retro charm. Inspired by the hard rock from the ‘70s, Cherokee’s heartbeat has a strong groove, manifested in songs like ‘Bill Pullman’ and pounding ‘Mother Natures Child’ with its tribal rhythm.

The music of the Cologne-based band is emotional and lively. Mostly it’s the louder tones that dominate but there are calmer moments too. ‘Just One Summer Long’ is one of these gently swinging tunes that gets a bit louder in the chorus, before returning to the relaxed main motive.

The halfway triple ‘Song For RG’, ‘The Nightingale and the Red Rose’ and ‘Rite of Peyote’ is an interesting flow on the tracklist of ‘Blood & Gold’. The earlier is a great rocker, followed by an acoustic interlude, that reflects a strong contrast, before the up-tempo ‘Rite of Peyote’ brings a solid groove to the plate. What is apparent while listening to these songs are the great vocals by Vesprini. Always in control of her voice, the vocals are powerful, moving and husky. Vesprini plays with these elements which makes each of the tunes to an experience.

‘Blood & Gold’ offers with fifteen songs a lot of music and some of the tracks are rather long too. ‘To Destroy Life’ e.g., entertains with a seven-minute running time. Having such a song on the album shows that there is creativity and songwriting talent coming with the band.

‘Blood & Gold’, that’s an album that comes straight from the heart and shimmers like unpolished gold in the sunlight. Cherokee isn’t the only band with a passion for retro sounds. What is great with ‘Blood & Gold’ though is the fact of the quintet putting a lot of soul into this release. Sometime reminding of Thin Lizzy and Rainbow and partly inspired by Dire Straits, Cherokee unleash a well-crafted debut, which is a next step on a journey that just started.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Bill Pullman
  2. My Sweet Tulip
  3. Just One Summer Long
  4. Il Grande Silenzio
  5. Ride By Night
  6. Sigourney
  7. Song For RG
  8. The Nightingale and The Red Rose
  9. Rite Of Peyote
  10. Malinche
  11. Mother Nature’s Child
  12. Ridin’ Free
  13. Destroy Life
  14. Bluesy
  15. Warriors of The Rainbow

Label: Dying Victims Productions

Genre: Hard Rock

Release Date EU: November 19th, 2021

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