Bang, Rock, and Roll, this week is a subdued scorcher with an Americana bent to the proceedings. The new, new to us anyway band The Bites lay down a single that brings to the minds ear Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man” and Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” in equal doses.
Buckcherry continues to deliver their rock a bit on the sleazy side.
And Jesse Dayton and Samantha Fish team up on Deathwish with the LA noir video worth the price of admission alone.
And, if all of that is not enough, here are five new records to tickle the earlobe and assault the senses.
Robert Jon and the Wreck – One of A Kind
It’s no secret that with the recent demise of Gary Rossington that there is a hole in our collective Southern Rock hearts, but fear not, arriving just in time is a new E.P. from Robert Jon & the Wreck, One of a Kind.
Bringing to mind all of the greats from Molly Hatchett and Lynyrd Skynyrd to The Marshall Tucker Tucker Band dusted with a bit of Wet Willie Pop dust along the way. Everything about this band is fantastic.
“Paint No More” has a “Gimme Three Steps” aura around it with Robert Jon extending his Gregg Allman-evoking vocal prowess, “Who Can You Love” is a lower and slower ballad with a bit of a .38 Special sound, and “Come at Me” has a more contemporary feel and is a song that would in quite nicely in a Blackberry Smoke set.
If this is your first foray into the dulcet tones of Robert Jon & The Wreck, while you are waiting on a proper full-length to be released, do your ears a solid and check out their 2021 release Shine A Light On Me Brother.
Eyelids – A Colossal Waste of Light
The band, a supergroup of sorts with members of The Decemberists, Camper Van Beethoven, Guided By Voices, and The Eliott Smit Band doing the heavy lifting plays in the Power Pop sandbox along with Big Star, Badfinger, and Jelly Fish.
The opener, “Crawling Off Your Page” breaks out of your speakers with a Cheap Trick by way of Big Star sensibility with a touch of Replacements in the mix, particularly in the song structure. “Swinging In The Circus could have been a late-era, Tom Petty hit. And, “Everything That I See You See Better” is perfect R.E.M. fare.
A rare supergroup where the sum brightens the individual parts, there is nary a dud in this pack of firecrackers.
Band of Heathens – Simple Things
The Band of Heathens, essentially the musical collective fronted by Gordy Quist and Ed Juri, continues to make solid uplifting music now 15 years into the game. This time out, they deliver a set of tunes that celebrate the simpler things in life, hanging out with friends, soaking up some sun, and being with family.
The opener, “Don’t Let The Darkness,” is ripped right out of the Loggins and Messina playbook, while “Long Lost Son” is Texas red dirt at its core. “Damaged Goods” would be perfect as a later-in-the-night, sway-in-the-moonlight barroom closing time tune, and “Simple Things,” the title track, is a thoughtful reminiscing tune that will remind you of what exactly is important in life.
Eight albums in now, and on the heels of their joyful collaboration of a covers album, Remote Transmissions, Vol. 1 from last year, The Band of Heathens prove once again that they are incapable of producing a bad record.
Doug Paisley – Say What You Like
From the opening salvo of the title track to Say What You Like, the latest from Doug Paisley, the laid-back J.J. Cale vibe will hit you between the ears and immediately level set the rest of the day for you with good vibes and peaceful easy feelings.
“Sometimes It’s So Easy” has a bit of a Dan Fogelberg quality about it, while “Wide Open Plane” sounds like a Cale-Clapton collaboration. The stories told through the record are simple and subtle and will seep into your soul rather than assault your senses.
The ’70s Seals and Croft, Loggins and Messina, almost yacht rock adjacent atmosphere that is presented here is a refreshing counterpoint to the rigors of daily living, case in point, “You Turn Me Around,” a song that could have been a Bob Seger Night Moves Balad.
Various Artists – Stoned Cold Country
Spoiler alert, despite the seemingly lame premise of semi-over the hill along with contemporary country artists covering the Rolling Stones songbook, this time, it actually works. Much like with Elton John’s 2018 release Restoration: The Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, the songs are so good and so ingrained in our collective psyches that when the songs are presented in a different hue than we are used to the quality of the songwriting is brought to the head of the class.
While certainly there are a few miss-steps and awkward pairings here, most notably with Lainey Wilson and her version of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” for the most part, this is a solid effort that will be deserving of a decent spot once the best covers records of the year lists come around.
The Brothers Osborne pair up with The War On Treaty on “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)” and deliver a version that will stand up over the years as one of the best, and Brooks and Dunn show up on “Honky Tonk Women” that sounds like “Honky Tonk Women,” and that is never a bad thing. The guitar work and originality displayed by Marcus King’s rendition of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” is soul-stirring, and Steve Earles’s poignant take on “Angie” is elegant and much more on-point than one would think given the odd pairing of the song to the artist.