The pickings are a bit slim this week, but we do the work so you don’t have to in curating the best of the crop.
First Aid Kit is out with a freshly minted video, “Angel,” live from Glastonbury.
Nervous Eaters, another great band courtesy of Wicked Cool Records, have released “Wild Eyes” in advance of a soon-to-be-released record.
In a week of slim Pickens, here are five nice nuggets we were able to surface for you.
Classless Act – Welcome To The Show
That buzz you are hearing is not a swarm of killer bees heading to a rock festival near you, what you are hearing is the hype surrounding one of the freshest retro-rock bands to come on the scene in quite some time.
Equal parts Sunset Strip swagger, Aerosmith Blues-Rock, and AC/DC riff-ready anthems, Classless Act is primed and ready to satisfy your appetite for destruction.
Feel free to skip right over the cringe-worthy title and opening track, a song that features the past his born-on date Vince Neil, and you are in for a Classic Rock feast for the ears.
“This is For You” is likely the pound-for-pound best song in the set, and would have been a prime B side on any of the Guns ‘N’ Roses singles, and “Thoughts From A Dying Man” features Jellyfish’ own Roger Manning on keyboards on a song that would have fit in quite nicely on any of the J-Fish albums.
If you are looking for a record from back in the day when rock reigned supreme, then this is your jam.
Jack Johnson – Meet The Moonlight
With his eighth proper studio album, and first in the last five years, Jack Johnson doesn’t paddle out to the really big swells on Meet The Moonlight, but that doesn’t make this any less chill.
On the opener, “Open Mind” you might as well be sitting next to a campfire on the beach listening to a guitar pull, and “3am Radio” is as a life-affirming record as you will hear all year.
Jack Johnson is an important artist that has a knack for emerging just when we seem to need him most. For best results, take the title track, “Meet The Moonlight,” for a spin with a Mai Tai in hand sitting underneath a coconut tree swaying in the wind.
Tijuana Panthers – Halfway To Eighty
Any band that blends Post Punk, Garage, Surf, and Rock, all with a distinctly low-fi edge, is very worthy of some of our ear time.
With a bit of Devo and a Dash of Green Day in the DNA of this record, the production value seems to have a bit of Lee And Nancy’s “Summer Wine” aura about it, most notably on “Take Back Time.” Stray Cats come to mind on “False Equivalent,” and “Man of Dust” has Link Wray written all over it.
Given their influences including the likes of Ty Seagall and Thee Oh Sees, this band is destined for better things with certainly more surprises just around the musical corner.
Joan Shelley – The Spur
As the state of the current state of affairs seems to be careening towards self-destruction, it is refreshing to come across an artist who is refreshingly old-school, and Joan Shelly with her latest, The Spur, has produced a timeless record that will at times take you back to the dust bowl, an East Tennessee farm with chickens wandering in the yard, and a civil war bride waiting for her soldier to come home from the war.
With a voice that floats to the heavens with refrains of Judee Sill and Joni Mitchell swirling in the clouds, “Between Rock and Sky” is as beautiful a song as you have likely heard all year, and “Like The The Thunder” will linger in your brain long after the final notes are struck.
Written and recorded during the heyday of the pandemic, this record seems to straddle the line between the happy and the sad while at the same providing a calming coping mechanism for the listener.
Supersonic Blues Machine – Voodoo Nation
A loose collective of a Blues Boogie band curated by Toto’s Steve Lukather. prior incarnations of the band have included Billy Gibbons, Slash, Steve Vai, and John Mellencamp’s drummer Kenny Aronoff.
This time around, the curation includes some newer-gun guitar slingers including Sonny Landreth, Eric Gales, Charlie Starr, and Kris Barras carrying most of the vocal duties.
Blues guitar dynamo King Solomon Hicks lends a Robin Trower flavor to “You and Me,” and the title track “Voodoo Nation” straddles that line between blues and funk. The closer, “All Our Love,” is pitch-perfect dirt road Americana tinged blues with Blackberry Smoker Charlie Starr stepping up on vocal duties.
With a passion project like this one and the talent level of the musicians called for duty here the results are as expected, Boogie-Blues stacular.