Unsurprisingly, California Breed is cut from the same riff rock cloth that was originated by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Hughes' vocals are at their soulful best, Bonham's drumming is as bombastic as ever, and Watt proves to be a competent player as he ranges from chunky rhythms on "The Grey" to more melodic flourishes on "All Falls Down." The songwriting also has some variety though things don't stray too far from the laid back but still upbeat mid-tempo template.
And with that template in mind, the band dynamic is rather basic by power trio standards. The songs are conventionally structured and based around the vocals, so there aren't too many opportunities for longer instrumental segments or any banter between the guitars and bass. This setup will likely change once the band members get more comfortable with one another but it does make one miss Bonamassa's more intricate contributions at times.
I may have bias as a Black Country Communion fan but California Breed's debut is a solid rock album with plenty of room for growth. Glenn Hughes is a talented vocalist/bassist and has a knack for finding talented people to work with, so it isn't too surprising to see him excel with a new project. However, it seems like the band may still need to work on their chemistry as a unit. This is an essential purchase for fans of his work but other rock listeners may need to see how this group develops on future efforts.
"Spit You Out"