hesitate to use Southern when it comes to these guys because
that will have a lot of you clicking on without even a cursory
look. Still, listen to a few of the tracks on The Kettle
you might think that C-Leb
the boys are straight out of the South, but not that lame South
which made Skynyrd and .38 Special headers for grit and raunch.
I liked those guys okay, but they wore themselves thin quickly.
No, these guys are more of the crank-it-out variety, a mixture
of, say, Wet
probably a handful of others out there digging trenches with
their guitar necks and beat-heavy rhythms. It is a small
handful who do it right, though, and these guys qualify. And
they don't make you wait. They kick things off with a
slide-ride that would have the dead dancing, if the dead could
It Love is
ready-made for slide-guitar-nirvana and a perfect introduction
& the Kettle Black.
If you don't like it, you probably won't like the band, but I
cannot imagine anyone not liking it, at least a little bit. Me,
I loop this sucker when I'm draggin' butt and it so far has not
failed to pick me up.
Maybe it's the guitar. Maybe it's the heavy, because these guys
are not light in the least. Maybe it's the vocals—- there
is a lot of Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie) and a little bit of
Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes) in the vocals. Truth
be told, I can't quite put my finger on why these guys impress
me so much, but they do. To put it simply, they smoke when they
want to. They glide when they don't.
They are most impressive when they're smokin' though. There is
a lot of R&B there, the crankin' type. Hott Mess reaks
of it as does Call It Love and Can't Get That Low.
This is take no prisoner stuff, the kind of stuff the real
Southern bands used to play. The Celebration is
straight-on rock with a touch of Delaney & Bonnie thrown
in for good measure. My favorite, though, has to be One For
the Road, a medium-beat ride on a musical hog of no mean
size. It is wall-of-sound perfection when you turn it up, and I
would bet that anyone who really wanted to listen would turn it
Goddamn, but that guitar impresses me. Not that the rest of the
band isn't good. Together, they make a statement few bands have
or can. In fact, to be fair, it is obvious that any cog missing
in this wheel would make for a rough ride. There is nothing
missing, though. This hits on all cylinders. All the time.
Hard to believe they're from Seattle. Not many bands pushing
the envelope this hard up in grunge territory. Don't make no
nevermind, though. These guys could be from Hell and I would
listen. As much as I could.
And I am. If you want to crank a little, you should too. This
is freakishly good. Maybe even better.
They even throw in a few tracks with cleaned up lyrics. So you
can play it for your kids. Who will probably be rockin' out
right alongside you. The family that rocks together stays
together. Sounds right to me.