The Mystery Jets are an Indie Rock Band with a soaring sound the belies their cited influences of Pink Floyd and King Crimson.
The formula of The Small Faces filtered through a prism of The Rolling Stones and ZZ Top hasn’t changed much in 35 years for The Quireboys, but that’s not really the point. These guys can still write a killer hook and their new songs can stand ear to ear with tunes they may have written decades ago. Are you listening Rolling Stones? And, we’re not letting you off the hook Billy Joel. Their scorching opener “Original Black Eyed Son” swings the barroom doors open in the best of ‘let’s get ready to rumble’ ways. With the drum beat introduction and the horns kicking in, once the organ joins the party early on in the song you can almost see lead singer Spike Gray swashbuckling into the room with a bottle of Jack Daniels under one arm and a busty blond under the other.
Two songs in with “Singer Serenader” you are left wondering if these guys are really in their sixties or just might be a bunch of millennials with a garage band who grew up listening to their grand parents Classic Rock record collection.
And yes, Spike Gray, with a voice that sounds like he gargles with sandpaper, cigarettes and whiskey can take things lower and even slower and deliver a ballad with the best of them like he does on “This is It.” It is here where there is a spit take moment towards the end of the song when the ghost of Papa John Creach seemingly joins the party with a fiddle outro. It’s subtle, but it’s there. And it’s delicious.
There literally is not a bad song on this record. The entire proceedings are so cool that the guys can almost be forgiven for going all Bryan Adams on our ears with “Dancing In Paris.” Well, almost. They tried to hide it by sneaking it in as the second to the last song on the album. The spot that is typically reserved for songs that are added at the last minute for filler purposes. We are on to your little reindeer games Quireboys. Shine on you crazy diamonds!
Another hard rocking group from the U.K. Proving that Rock is not dead, it just is better across the pond.
Despite their somewhat unfortunate band name the band of Post Punk Warriors is poised for world domination.
Live from the Beacon the Doobie Brothers perform the Albums Toulouse Street and The Captain and Me in their entirety. They have lost a bit on their fastball but here they do a nice job on the arrangement that helps soften the impacts of Father Time.
It has been a been a bit too long since we have gone down the Rock and Roll rabbit hole in search of songs and bands that act like any year after 1989 never existed. Sure Greta Van Fleet, Rival Sons and The Struts are fine Rock and Roll bands in the grand old school tradition, but there are a lot more bands than that that deserve some of your ear time. Here are a few we are listening to right now.
Turbonegro – Special Education
These cats from Oslo, Norway went on hiatus for a bit in the late 80’s but thankfully for their legions of fans the band reappeared in 2007 and have been hanging and banging ever since. With a sound that floats somewhere between The New York Dolls and Judas Priest their songs feature more hooks than an episode of The Greatest Catch.
Massive Wagons – Tokyo
With recent tours opening for The Wildhearts it is still head scratching that on the strength of their latest record Full Nelson this band has not yet become the next big thing to save Rock and Roll.
The Bad Somethings – Let It Roll
Any song that kicks things off with a cowbell pretty much has us at hello. Alive era Kiss is the template for this band with just an ever so slight scent of Bachman Turner Overdrive wafting in the year. Good stuff.
Giuda – Overdrive
If the Bay City Rollers were cool they would sound like these Italian retro-rockers. One of the view bands that are bringing back the Glam with hints of Slade, Sweet and small slice of The Knack thrown in for good measure.
Ex Hex – Tough Enough
A girl super group of sorts featuring Mary Timony, Betsy Wright, and Laura Harris this band ramps it up with wild riffs, cool vocal harmonies, and heaps of power chords.
Bishop Gunn – Anything You Want
Word on the streets is that Bishop Gunn is right now in the studio working on the follow-up to their highly excellent 2018 release Natchez, and it can’t come too soon. The Black Crowes by way of Blackberry smoke make this one a smooth down home listen in the Lynyrd Skynyrd mold.
Helen Rose – John Coltrane on the Jukebox
Part Blues, Part Country Soul Helen Rose is a bit of a Genre Bender. This one is from her 2018 release Trouble Holding Back.
John Diva & the Rockets of Love – Dance Dirty
There is something entirely refreshing about a band that totally embraces their influences with no shame in their game whatsoever. In this case it is all Def Leppard most of the time and that is never a bad thing.
From Thunder Bay, Ontario these boys mix Metallica style vocals with AC/DC monster riffs and an energy that will bring the hose down. This one is from their latest E.P. Burning the Midnight Oil.