Gritty bluesy ’60s style rock and roll. Like Mountain, Black Mountain, and so many great Jagjaguwar records. Speaking of which, I seem to have fallen off of Jag’s mailing list. Oh, well.
Posts tagged ‘Blues’
This album kicks ass. It simply kicks ass.
Driving blues, soulful vocals, steady bass and drums, and hooks, hooks, hooooooks! They can do bouncy blues (Letters to Caroline), jammy drama that’ll make you think of The Allmans (or maybe even Sabbath’s first record) (Irish Funeral), and rock single/ballad (Man is the food of Man)…They can do it all. Come to Virginia, guys, I need to see you!
And they’ve got tons of covers on their website.
And it’s self released–that’s the best part. Get it here. This is a band that deserves the chance to earn your support.
Givin’ a shout to some good old fashioned FONK-y blues!
There’s hard heavy blues that’s jam-based, with dark and murky exploration into psychedelia, and then there’s tight, fast-paced blues. We got both of them today. One is like Led Zeppelin 1, the other is like “In Through the Out Door.” And I love ‘em both, for different reasons.
Let’s start with the more accessible of the two. Heavy Glow‘s latest collection of three-to-five minute singles (and every song on the album could be a single) features blues hooks, great vocals, raw production, and choruses like: “You want all my money/I want all my money/And I got no reason to give.” Do you need to know more than that? I don’t think so. But in case you do, I’ll tell you that the song “Collide” completely kicks ass. No, it runs over your ass like a train. Then it backs up and runs over it again.
On the other side of this coin is the “epic,” far-reaching Arbouretum album, “The Gathering,” on which no song clocks in at less than 4 minutes and several stretch past seven. Most of the time, if you tell me a song is more than five minutes long I’ll ask whether it’s Roger Waters or Iron Butterfly. Some people need that much time to say what they need to say, but most don’t.
Arbouretum make the most of every second. It’s heavy, somber rock in the tradition of Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull (no flute, though), and all those heavy-1960s thinkers. Is it “jam” music? Yes, but only in the way that Black Mountain make jam music. It’s not long or noodle-y, it’s just full of muscular passion. It may scare you woman, but it’s mighty great.
These guys have the balls–the balls!–the cover Led Zeppelin. The Sonic Heavy are a San Jose band featuring heavy, thick drums, chainsaw guitars, and a lead singer who screams with urgency and power. It’s throwback bluesrock–the kind of heavy shit you heard in the late 1970s when Mountain and Bad Company were all over the place and metal hadn’t turned into Poison yet.
Plus, these guys have the balls to cover my third-favorite Led Zeppelin song.
Tangerine (Led Zep cover)
<a href=”http://soundowl.com/track/yl8/the-sonic-heavy-tangerine-led-zep-cover” _mce_href=”http://soundowl.com/track/yl8/the-sonic-heavy-tangerine-led-zep-cover”>Download The Sonic Heavy Tangerine (Led Zep cover)</a>
The Sonic Heavy Tangerine (Led Zep cover)
So I dug Brooklyn rockers Big Mosey‘s new EP “Homeward at Daybreak” at soon as I heard the first song. But something about it was familiar. I mean, yeah, sure, there was the obvious (Kings of Leon/Tom Waits), but what else? Then I figured it out. Big Head Todd and the Monsters. That’s a band I’m totally wild about, but nobody seems to know.
Kinda like these dudes.
The hard, bluesy quartet hail from Brooklyn. And you most definitely need to check ‘em out. If for no other reason than the final guitar solo/jam in “Rainbows Wild” will literally melt your earsockets. I’m not gay, but it totally made me want to blow these guys.
Check out this tune:
BONUS! BIG HEAD TODD AND THE MONSTERS!
I’m giving a shout out today for Canadian Marshall Lawrence‘s new record, “Blues Intervention.” Lawrence, who calls himself the “doctor of the blues,” make what I call “clean” blues. He’s got a smooth voice and a smooth guitar style–no grit, and, honestly, not a lot of pain. It’s not what I am used to when I pick up a blues record. It’s crisp.
It’s getting a write up because the musicianship, as a technical matter, is terrific. Lots of fun to listen to. He takes standards like “Walking Blues” and “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” (a personal fave) and makes them sound new and modern–which isn’t easy to do with songs you’ve heard played dozens of times by dozens of different artists.
Barroom blues usually goes one of two ways: An album with a bunch of ba-DA ba-DA songs on it and a few harmless, slow ballads thrown in for good measure, or jams the listener can get lost in–air drumming and head bobbing ’till the heart’s content. The Stone Foxes is the latter. But with a few harmless, slow ballads thrown in for good measure. “Patience,” “I Killed Robert Johnson,” and “Young Man,” by themselves, make up for any redundancy or weakness on the album (such as the tepid “Easy” and the by-the-numbers cover of “Little Red Rooster”). And then there’s songs like “Hyde & Pine,” a great blues-punk number, that take the album even further down the road from mediocrity and towards really solid, garage rock. I can’t help but assume that, live, this band blows the doors off. Another thing that keeps the album interesting is the bandmembers’ differing vocal styles, ranging from classic rock to Jet-like pseudo classic rock, and rough blues. This band impressed me with their debut, and “Bears and Bulls” proves that they weren’t a one-record-only group.
Before you can begin to enjoy Heavy Glow’s
“The Filth and the Fury,” you have to forgive them for swiping the name from the Sex Pistols. You have to, because they are absolutely nothing like the Pistols. Heavy Glow are a blues trio with blazing guitar, energetic drums, and rough(ish) vocals. Are they like The White Stripes? A little. But their music is tighter, better organized. Are they like Black Keys? A little, but the vocals are much better and they focus on extended 1970s-style guitar solos. Their well-produced EP features modern blues like “Red July” and heavier, stoner jams like the single, “Love Ghost.” The EP consists of 5 songs recorded in one 6-hour session. And it sounds like it, too. There’s a sense of improvisation and freedom, the sound of sweat and smiles, mixed in with the dirt and grind.
The CD that the band sent me also has two unlisted bonus tracks that are just as good as the five “official” listed tracks. When I looked it up on iTunes, it looks like you just get the five there. So order the CD from their website or something. This is a trio that should be on your radar.
You wouldn’t expect a band with the name “The Treats” to be a crunchy blues band. Let alone a respectable one. Yet here I am, with the Madison, Wisconsin’s band’s self-released debut making my toes tap and my head bob. Great album cover, too–a koala with a chili pepper mouth and some 1980s sleek lettering . . .
I was expecting glitzy, forgettable pop. What a nice surprise!
Sir Unicorn (a taste!)