Roadcase Royale – Get Loud
Nancy Wilson describes Roadcase Royale as a side project, never devaluing the primacy of her main band Hall of Famers Heart, but this new six piece sounds like anything but a side project. Roadcase Royale’s debut single “Get Loud” hits all the right buttons for both rock and R&B fans thanks to its clever mingling of the two forms and the vibrant sound the musicians conjure has both substance and commercial appeal. Wilson is joined by Liv Warfield on vocals and her lead guitarist Ryan Waters as well as Heart’s rhythm section and keyboard player. While Wilson is naturally quite familiar with the work of her fellow Heart band mates, she has equally combustible chemistry with Warfield and, particularly, Waters. The six member band has created something quite indelible with “Get Loud” – while it certainly speaks about our current lives with great relevance, the song’s message has a timeless quality.
The guitars will catch your ear early on. Waters and Wilson lock up well from the beginning and set an early tone, but the verses are structured around bassist Dan Rothchild and drummer Ben Smith. The R&B elements come into play here – Rothchild and Smith’s groove has real swing. The build to the chorus is handled with a lot of finesse and culminates nicely with the guitars re-establishing their presence in the mix. Roadcase Royale sound like they’ve been together for decades and that chemistry is natural and never the product of the studio. The years of experience that’s seen Wilson enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with her sister and Warfield’s time with Prince mark an important period in the icon’s career fuels the quality of this release. Simply put, these are musicians who know what they’re doing and their efforts invariably find their target.
Warfield’s vocal shows years of experience in its phrasing, control, and instincts. She knows when to stress certain words and soft pedal others. She sings with a genuine emotiveness that lets listeners know she’s with every word and embodying the song’s message to the best of her abilities and her timing is impeccable. The other exceptional quality about her singing is how her vocal melody complements the arrangement so well. The lyrical content has equal value and gives her a tremendous amount to work with. The true beauty of this track is that it has an universal relevance despite being, obviously, very inspired by current events. Moreover, the song’s message has a personal slant rather than referencing specific things and that virtually ensures the song has some lasting value once the tenor of the times changes. Roadcase Royale’s “Get Loud” is one of the best debut releases in recent memory. Nancy Wilson, Liv Warfield, and their collaborators have struck gold as an extended lineup in a way none of them could have predicted. Any future singles from this band will likely stun every bit as much as this number.