Houston rockers return with a new EP that rips like the Tazmanian Devil tearing through your living room for about 15 minutes and leaving carnage in his wake. This EP succeeds by packing some great riffs with solid hooks that actually leave me thinking more of old bands like the Little Kings, Heartbreakers, Motorhead, and at one point even the Royal Court of China came to mind. I am pretty sure the tempo picks up a bit in the live setting a la the Ramones.
At less than 2 minutes, the down and dirty ‘Somethin’ comes straight from the same sordid streets and back alleys the Little Kings did 30 years ago. My biggest complaint is that the song could have been stretched out for another verse to give it a little more meat. The guitar riff by Glenn Gilbert is awesome. While the vocals are admittedly somewhat one dimensional here, I think that’s part of the charm with the band picking some great places in the record to apply backing vocals. The hard driving blues beat and riff of ‘Austin’ works perfect following the opener. The hook sinks into the brain so fast that you will be singing ‘in Austin’ with Bill Degidio (also guitar) by the middle of the song.
‘On the Street’ finds the band capturing magic with possibly my favorite (and longest at 3:28) song on the record. The groove laid down by Jewels (bass) and Andy Kaos (drums) set up Gilbert’s riffs with the song initially hitting what seems to be the finish line after 90 seconds before it kicks into another gear. This is some great straight forward RAWK that emphasizes the roll as well. ‘Lost Another Night’ is our other longest song at just over three minutes. The mix here by Karim Khorshid is perfect as it feels like everything can be heard without losing any power. The extra time on these 2 songs really gives them great dynamics, and the chorus packs some extra punch as well with it being a little more wordy than the first two songs.
We get back to another fast rocker with ‘Pretty Kitty’ which suffers a bit because of the quality of the other songs here, both before it and after it. The break in the song that hits after the first minute and sets up the guitar solo connects with my soul every time though. Finale ‘I’m Goin’ Down’ rides an awesome riff that channels the Heartbreakers, right down to the vocal pattern. This currently stands as another of my favorites.
When this EP connects with me, it is downright awesome and highly recommended for a spin. At the end of the day, my couple quibbles with it are downright minor and more a reflection of how awesome the material is. Give this a listen on bandcamp and then click on the ‘buy’ button. You will be glad you did.
Author: Gerald Stansbury