Review

There’s strength in abundance in The River Band’s self-titled debut album

Seven years ago a group of musically diverse and talented musicians met up in Cape Town and started The River Band.

This year they released their self-titled debut album and it’s equal parts fun, meaningful, and beautifully uplifting.

Their sound is probably best described as Eddie Vedder meets the E Street Band. The unbridled passion and power in Jandre Spanenberg’s vocals is matched by the immensely talented musicians around him, creating a sonic universe that’s impossible not to get caught up in.

The positivity that runs throughout the album is the kind that comes from having conquered emotional strife countless times.

“Horizon,” the opening track, is about taking the pain of the past, learning from it, and turning it into self-improvement, while “Give Me Hunger” sounds like dancing in the rain as the sun breaks through the clouds.

The River Band manages to channel seriousness and upliftment at the same time. Without trivialising the often scary nature of human emotion, it creates the feeling that maybe everything really will be okay in the end.