Stubborn Son have a familiar backstory, they play a familiar style of music, have a familiar lineup, and their debut album Birthright is quite familiar, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It’s true there exists plenty of bands like Stubborn Son. They are group of longtime friends who hail from Seattle, the biggest hotbed for indie and rock music west of NYC. Stubborn Son play the kind of bluesy rock that has seen a steep resurgence since the time when Jack White and the Black Keys began to take over the rock world. They are a classic three-piece band made up of guitarist/singer Garrett Lamp, bassist Andrew Knapp and drummer Blair Daly.
All these facts are not exactly easy to sell in a music world chalk full of similar origin stories, but the one way Stubborn Son will emerge is if they have the musical chops to do so. In a way this makes them even more verified as musicians if they can because it will prove they are not merely niche artists doing something different for different sake.
While they may one day do just this, Birthright is simply not the album on which it will happen. They do show signs of creativity and genuinely catchy composition though: “Voices” is a track that builds slowly from a sultry bluesy ballad to a full-fledged rock song full of skilled and interesting solos. “All Saints” and “Make Your Heart Start” show similar potential but overall it seems that Stubborn Son must either find some variation on their familiar sound or continue to hone their craft before they can truly distinguish themselves from the crowd.