Even at their least impressive, on songs like Big Day and Sign of The Times, where they sound like a polite mix of The Wildhearts and The Darkness, Brit rockers Wayward Sons sound in career best form on new album Even Up The Score. But when Toby Jepson and company really set to it and let their collective influences guide them, well, that’s when things really start to cook.

Influence is the key word here. Jepson, you’ll remember, was a Little Angel back in the day, and quite possibly that sets him up as a bona fide influence for many of the youngsters currently swelling the ranks of the millions of New Wave of Classic Rock bands currently doing the rounds. What sets the Wayward Sons apart – notwithstanding the fact that they are a very talented bunch of chaps – is that their influences, being just that little bit older and possibly a little bit wiser in terms of songwriting smarts, give them a classy edge most of the current competition can’t really hope to match.

Much of this album sounds as if it could comfortably have been released in around 1979 or 1980, and names like Joe Jackson, Nick Lowe, Thin Lizzy and Graham Parker often come to mind whilst the band crank out appealing tuneage such as Fake, Bloody Typical (easily one of the best hard rock tunes to have crossed my ears thus far in 2021) or Downfall; this is classy stuff and no mistake, and it’s a real pleasure and a privilege to hear real craftsmen going about their business at such a high level of operational business.

Closing track They Know is another absolute ripper, even if it does sound a little bit like Terrorvision in it’s verses, but when you can write choruses as good as these blokes those little trips off piste occasionally are an acceptable price to pay for the greatness you know is almost certainly lurking around the next corner. This is a great album, no doubt about it, and you owe it to yourself to get it into your ears as soon as possible!

Even Up The Score releases on October 8th.