River’s Divide aims for classic-rock sound

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River’s Divide (Independent)

When a band lists its influences as the Doors, the Eagles, Pink Floyd, Rush, the Beatles, and Fleetwood Mac—as River’s Divide does—you can take that a number of ways.

It could signify a lack of imagination, because after all, those six acts are spun on stations like Rock 101 at least once an hour and their songs are played by every beer-garden cover band in existence and will be until the sun burns out and life on Earth is a vanished memory.

Then again, there’s a reason those artists have achieved that status, which means that River’s Divide has set an impossibly high bar for itself.

The odds of anyone playing “The Octopus Rock” at the PNE this year are pretty slim, but it’s an interesting number. It sounds like Pink Floyd, yes, but it evokes a very specific period in that band’s history, the weird time between Syd Barrett’s acid-fuelled departure and the ascendance of Roger Waters’s loftier concepts. We’re talking “Point Me at the Sky” and “The Nile Song” territory here.

It’s probably the best song on River’s Divide, and it suggests that the group would be best served by following its psychedelic tendencies rather than its folk-rock or pop ones. More tunes like “The Octopus Rock”, please!

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