Blues Rock

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

“Standing on my shelf next to other “non-metal” records, like Captain Beyond, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings, Blue Öyster Cult, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, you’ll find albums from B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Johnson, and John Lee Hooker. Am I trying to say I’m an expert in the field? Heavens, no. But this would explain my odd selection of (typically) straight-forward, go-nowhere blues/hard rock promos for review. And here’s yet another.” Blues balls.

Lord Buffalo – Tohu Wa Bohu Review

Lord Buffalo – Tohu Wa Bohu Review

Tohu Wa Bohu, a Hebrew phrase found in Genesis describing the Earth as “formless and empty” before the creation of light, is the second album from this Texan quartet, and it’s chock full of earthy darkness. First track “Raziel” creaks into the world sounding like a lost track from Nick Cave and Warren EllisThe Proposition soundtrack crossed with Low Estate era 16 Horsepower.” Lost in Americana.

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

“Sometimes, vocals — however good they may be — detract, or at least distract, from really listening to the moods the music is conjuring. This is how I feel about, for example, the instrumental records that accompany releases from The Ocean — while I typically listen to the full version, every now and again I will put on the instrumental version and float away. While West Virginia’s Seven Planets are a very different beast from that Berlin-based collective, their brand of instrumental rock, rooted in blues and groove, also aims to carry you away.” Seven paths to Uranus.

Morgan Rider and the Deep Dark River – Leviathan and the Deep Dark Blue Review

Morgan Rider and the Deep Dark River – Leviathan and the Deep Dark Blue Review

“My taste in music is a bit scattered. If I had to guess, I’d say that’s partly due to the fact that I’ll listen happily to just about anything, but I like to live with a genre for a long time before absorbing a new one into my regular rotation. My main musical gaps feature the various branches of folk. I’ve been meaning to change that for years now, but I constantly put it off for one reason or another. When I saw a folk metal album drop in our bin, I figured, “why not start now?” Hence, Morgan Rider and the Deep Dark River‘s debut record Leviathan and the Deep Dark Blue. No expectations. No assumptions. Just me, embarking on a voyage into uncharted waters.” Swimming with the blues.

The Electric Mud – Burn the Ships Review

The Electric Mud – Burn the Ships Review

“There are still bands out there that hearken back to the loud, bluesy days of hard rock. Clutch is today’s prime example of that style, and ZZ Top is the granddaddy. Both bands love the blues, and love to boogie. You can add Floridian quartet The Electric Mud to that cadre. These guys are beer drinkers and hellraisers, and on sophomore album Burn the Ships they aim to show us all how gritty southern blues-rock should be played.” Deep South ship kicking.

Juniper Grave – Of Hellions and Harridans Review

Juniper Grave – Of Hellions and Harridans Review

“Listen, by the time December rolls around we don’t want to review new albums. We’re too busy listening to our favorites of the year to bother with new releases. But I’m a sucker for female-fronted blues-rock and occult bands–I love Blues Pills and Sabbath Assembly, and last year I had Pristine’s album high on my list–so when Juniper Grave’s debut landed in our promo pit, I had to grab it.” Hellions, Harridans, Huckster.

Freddy and the Phantoms – Times of Division Review

Freddy and the Phantoms – Times of Division Review

“Many moons ago when I walked uphill in ten feet of snow both ways to get to secondary school. The music department was populated with insufferable dorks who would lecture anyone within earshot on music’s death and subsequent stinking decay post-1979. This snobbery still exists in the present day, and I’m left wondering exactly where this incredibly soundproof rock these people are demonstrably living under is located.” Come back baby, rock n’ roll never forgets.

Joy – Under the Spell of Joy Review

Joy – Under the Spell of Joy Review

Joy takes “retro” seriously. I’m sure most of our readers are familiar with the morass of “retro” groups that exclusively write music with a deaf ear to everything recorded after a particular golden time in the history of heavy metal, but this San Diego power trio set back the clock to a time pre-dating the genre entirely, recalling when Black Sabbath was a blues band and “heavy metal” existed only as a Steppenwolf lyric.” Set the machine for 1 B.S.D. (before Steel Druhm).

Pain of Salvation – Road Salt pt. 1 – Ivory – Review

Pain of Salvation – Road Salt pt. 1 – Ivory – Review

One would assume that an Angry Metal Guy wouldn’t be handing out high scores willy nilly, something I seriously try to avoid doing. But apparently 2010 is a year filled with really fantastic albums by bands doing the things that, as a reviewer, and more specifically, as a music-lover, I have trouble not totally falling for. Pain of Salvation has never been a band that I personally fell for. Scarsick, the band’s 2007 release, was a record that I had issues with and I’ve had some personal gripes about Daniel Gildenlöw’s vocals on the older material (specifically his wannabe Mike Patton rappy/talky vocals). But, that said, Pain of Salvation has long been the darling of the progressive rock and metal scene, with legions of fans who love their technical prowess and pop sensibility.