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Jesus! How long ago did that first Black Crowes album come out? And whatever happened to Drivin' & Cryin'? I would swear to God that these guys were those guys' younger brothers if I didn't know better and as good, if not better. From the dyslexicly unbalanced fade-in of Women to the extremely Black Crowes-esque No Flies On Me, Bright * Giant melds the best of those two bands with their own subtle in-your-face style on five of the best rockin' tracks you'll hear this year.

While the above video shows a process, it does not show the power generates. Built on bedrock of solid drumming, booming and sometimes fuzzed-out bass and crunching rhythm guitar, the music is the Hard Rock version of Power Pop, lodging simple hooks in your head that will be hard to dismiss. The almost five minutes of Women slam into the faster paced Songbird like a car backending a truck on the freeway (listen for the buried “Aiyee, aiyee, aiyee” after watching the video and you get an idea of the range of choices a band must make during the production process) and that sets up the manic song/talk of Jesus, the Devil & Me, a step off the deep end of the gene pool. They enter the realm of anthem with Forget-Me-Nots, a slightly slower and much more intricately pieced together composition, complete with outstanding full chorus buildup at the end. Then it's early Black Crowes all over again, rhythm and voice dominating hard rock hook and distorted guitar.

You remember those albums that had “Record Loud to be Played Loud” banners printed on the back? File this sucker with them because it is like a car gaining speed on the open road with the driver unaware. The longer it plays, the louder you want it.

Don't like EPs? Well, these five songs just may be your exception. Better five solid, well laid out tracks than five great songs spliced between six others and these are as solid as they get. My head tells me they are the springboard to a long and fruit fly career. Sorry. Couldn't help myself. Buy this album. Seriously. Huh. Couldn't help that, either.

Frank O. Gutch Jr.

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