“Loving you is like Sherlock Holmes, a mystery every day…” sings vocalist Lance Doss, veteran of six years on tour with Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale, sounding more like he spent that time with J.J. Cale on this bluesy, powerful, definitive song about a mystery woman and the relationship’s inevitable conclusion. The fluid melody, a second cousin to “Goin’ Down” – Down, Down, Down, Down, bye, bye, bye, bye…good stuff. “Sadie” is a nice combo of 38 Special, Wet Willie, Mark Farner as well as a strong dash of Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten Twice Shy.” These fellows know their influences and they wear them proudly on their sleeve here on their second disc, SGSB, the follow-up to the group’s debut, The MalL Tease Fall Can.
At 5:15 “Divine” takes the listener on a slow journey, musically elegant with a superb vocal reminiscent of Allman Brothers and Atlanta Rhythm section. Not to dwell on so many of the roots, but it is hard not to hearing so many familiar riffs tweaked in clever and inviting ways. “Get It Back” takes a different direction, both guitars churning soulful struts over the impeccable rhythms of bassist
Paul Page – also of John Cale’s band along with gigs for and with Dion, Popa Chubby, Ruth Gerson, Martin’s Folly Gary US Bonds, Bo Diddley, Del Shannon, Ben E. King and resilient drummer Steve Holley.
Where “Bama Bounce” pulls “Sunshine of Your Love” sideways, with a voice out of the clouds of reservations from this country’s native American past, “Some Things Ain’t Never Gonna Change” is a pure Hendrixian love fest. Go to the three minute mark and hear Jimi riffs and fills, with wah wah and delightful drumming by Steve Holley as a sweet undercurrent.
“Payin’ The Price” could be The Beatles “Drive My Car” gone blues while “My Pride” takes Aerosmith’s “Same Old Song and Dance” and brings it to the world of Savoy Brown and Foghat. Not that it is a stretch, Ralph Mormon of Savoy Brown was lead singer for Joe Perry of Aerosmith’s first solo album and this ensemble would be a perfect opener for “Smith any day of the week.
“Number” forges its own identity, multi instrumentalist / co-guitarist Justin Jordan bolstering the song’s framework with intriguing patterns. “One Good Kiss” and “Consumer,” which concludes this disc, speak with power and glory, it’s a blues buffet with touches of pop that has staying power and an encyclopedic understanding of the genres it traverses.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.