The road to rock 'n' roll glory is littered with the smouldering remnants of bands that blazed brightly for a few brief moments and then fizzled out in a cloud of thwarted ambitions. But every now and then a band emerges that walk, talk and rock like true saviors of our beloved music's spirit and soul. Founded in Northern Ireland in 2000, The Answer have spent the last 13 years proving their rock 'n' roll credentials and making the kind of life-affirming, eardrum-threatening music that separates the truly great from the merely adequate. And now the band are poised to unleash their fourth studio album, the insanely exhilarating New Horizon: not just the strongest, catchiest and most-thrillingly vital album of their career to date, but also a fearsome statement of intent that obliterates the competition and showcases their trademark rock 'n roll evangelism. Joining forces with acclaimed producer Toby Jepson, they have seldom sounded as electrified by their own celebratory sound as they do on this latest immaculate sonic offering.
"We started off the album process the same away as usual, by getting in a room and jamming like motherfuckers, taping everything and going back to the best ideas," explains frontman Cormac Neeson. "The difference this time, especially once Toby was on board, was that we had a discussion about the album we wanted to make, we made a very clear game plan and we stuck to it. Every time we felt like wandering off and indulging ourselves, we'd rein it in and focus on making an album of direct rock 'n' roll songs that'd make you want to get on the dance floor and shake your shit!"
After a few self-financed, low-key releases, The Answer emerged into the mainstream spotlight in 2005 when their debut single "Keep Believin'" became the subject of great critical acclaim and led The Answer to the 'Best New Band' award at that year's Classic Rock Awards. The following year, this young band consolidated that early promise with Rise, a debut album that received universally great reviews and backed up their burgeoning reputation with fistfuls of gloriously anthemic songs. Rise went on to sell over 100,000 copies worldwide, a startling achievement that ensured that when the band released their second album, the mighty Everyday Demons, two years later, the world was more than ready to embrace The Answer on an even greater scale. The end result of their fearsome reputation, both as an astonishing live band and as rock's brightest hopes, was a two-year stint as chief support to AC/DC, which took them around the world and into some of the biggest venues on the planet.
"We were thrown to the wolves a lot of nights on the road with AC/DC and all we had to fall back on was the four of us playing together," recalls mercurial guitar hero Paul Mahon. "We had to make it work and dig in really hard. After all that time on the road, our songwriting's so much tighter, all the fat has been stripped away and we're much more direct. songs that we had in that vein seemed to go down with their audiences, and we took all of that on board."
Following the success of Everyday Demons and that triumphant cross-global trek with AC/DC, The Answer furthered their reputation and creative aims with 2011's astonishing Revival. Meanwhile, some unexpected behind-the-scenes turbulence briefly threatened to derail the band's runaway train to glory. Ever the die-hard rock troopers, The Answer made some tough decisions, recruiting new management and signing to a new label, thus ensuring that their future would very much be conducted on their own terms. Newly revitalised, the band spent much of 2012 writing the songs that have now been brought vividly to life on their extraordinary fourth album, New Horizon. The bullish bluster of the opening title track and the irresistibly catchy thud n' thrust of "Spectacular" showcases New Horizon's gleaming anthems offer a strident and skilful update of The Answer's ageless manifesto. This is rock n' roll as it was always meant to be: raging with confidence and belief, crackling and sparking with feral energy and exhibiting the kind of sublime compositional flair that separates the instantly classic from the merely mundane.
New Horizon will explode onto the world of rock n' roll in September 2013, replete with artwork created by much-missed album art legend Storm Thorgerson (Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin/Muse), and The Answer will immediately hit the road to take their infectious gospel of good rockin' times and super-amplified soul back to their global army of devoted fans.