CALIFORNIA BREED – California Breed (2014)


As is the case with several Glenn Hughes fronted projects, this album might be a real handful to get into for some, but the rewards are great. Glenn Hughes moves on from Black Country Communion with pal Jason Bonham and new recruit Andrew Watt to create another groove orientated power trio. This project has more of a Hughes solo stamp on it than BCC did, with control issues between Glenn and Joe Bonamassa now a thing of the past.
And Glenn gets to indulge in his favorite pastime here – delivering groove and blues based classic hard rock with a strong 70s edge. Much of this album could have come straight out of 1978, whilst the rest relies on some contemporary production tricks and effects to make a blend of classic rock for the new millennium.

12 tracks and 51 minutes is probably a touch too long, the album might have been a bit tidier at 40-45 minutes max, but that’s a small issue. The main issue is that this rocks! I’m a longtime fan of Hughes who thinks he is at his best when rocking out. To have a project that does that, but also includes his love of soul and blues is ideal.
And while I was sorry to see the demise of BCC, fans of that project will easily adapt to this band.

From the opening swagger of The Way and the more commercial groove of Sweet Tea, this is Hughes and Bonham at their best. And newcomer Watt gets on the map with his first outing.
The album features a lot of Led Zeppelin influences, Chemical Rain and the ballad All Falls Down most obvious.
Thankfully the guys keep the tempo up for a lot of the album, with rockers like The Grey flowing beautifully.
When they do slow down to that slow Zeppelinesque groove, such as Days They Come and the ultra-slow Invisible, they add in very likable chorus hooks to keep things moving.

Not an album for everyone, but for those it is aimed at, expect an almost unanimous praising of this release. You’re either going to love it or hate it. Thankfully for me I love it – it delivers exactly what I expected from the continued collaboration of Hughes/Bonham and new guy Watt shows he will be around for a long while to come.