Wow, what a year it was for these New York Rock n Rollers. Two original albums that set the bar to be fair and then this year to follow it up so soon with album number one with a rebadge and a new set of clothes so to speak. To make it clear this is recordings Gorden Lawrence wrote in his folk’s basement when he was 17 years old and they were recorded using one microphone on a steady diet of ‘Raw Power’ (Iggy) and ‘Exile On Main Street’ (Stones). To be fair if you’re 17 years old and getting into music that’s about as good a starting point as any – no its a better starting point than many and if you want to have reference points then those two can only lead to good things oh and some booze, drugs, and girls for good measure. Wow, you go for it guys.
Just because it was recorded as I say using the one mic doesn’t mean it’s going to be a hipster nightmare and sound so abominable that only fools would listen (or the aforementioned hipsters) from the opening Crash, Bang Wallop, of ‘(I’m Your) Other Man’ you can instantly tell that ‘Raw Power’ and ‘Exile’ were the perfect choice to go make a cellar recording of some Rock n Roll songs you have penned with its groove and almost hypnotic rhythm the production values don’t matter I’m sure we’ve all heard albums recorded using tens of thousands of pounds of pro tools and kit and don’t have a fraction of the heart and soul that a record like this has and that’s a fact.
I’d also throw the Dolls and VU into the mix at this point as ‘Milk’ has New Yawk Cool all over its laid back undertones but next up is the pure strut of ‘I Can’t Stop It’. Man, they must have been mainlining the spirit of Jagger and Richards on this bad boy. As the album progresses it swings from one influence to the other and ‘City Boy Blue’ taps up that Stooges groove as does the super fuzz wig out of ‘Genocide’ its got a tonne of fire inside the band that’s captured perfectly here no doubt about it. I’m also reminded a little of bands like The Jesus And Mary Chain here as well more with the spirit than actually sounding like them especially on ‘Don’t Walk Away’.
‘Bleach Blonde’ is the only non Lawrence penned song and is a more pop tune complete with loose chord changes and handclaps whilst ‘Run Away’ reminds me of one of those demos released by Kurt Cobain’s estate after his passing and they raided his vault.
‘Rich Cunt’ is a rapid smash and grab as you might imagine it to be. No finesse just turn up the amps and go for it play the solo like you feel it and don’t worry about hitting any bum notes it matters not. Then to close this thing off its the albums title track with all the Noo Yawk swagger of the Dolls at full tilt which sounds magnificent and a real attitude statement and as I listened I glanced down at the sleeve notes and read that the final sentence is that they don’t regret a single thing and so they shouldn’t. Its a piece of work as it is and had they messed with it it wouldn’t have captured that drive – that attitude – that raw emotion and inevitably wouldn’t have been half as good as what it is. Beechwood are demanding your attention and this is only going to enhance their reputation. Beechwood rock like fuck in the right way it is pure of heart and a band who you should be adding to your collection if you truly believe in Rock and Roll as I know you should. Trash and Glamour two of our favourite things – Buy it!
Hailing from Lockport NY, Handsome Jack plays a powerful and emotional fusion of boogie soul rock n roll that has earned the admiration of fellow rock travelers such as Chris Robinson (CRB, Black Crowes), Zachary Gabbard (Buffalo Killers), and Ben McLeod of All Them Witches, who produced their new record.
On “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” the trio digs deeper into its soulful influences, brilliantly bringing back to life the classic sounds of Chicago, Memphis and Muscle Shoals, all rolled into one timeless record of American rock music for a new generation.
Handsome Jack is Jamison Passuite (guitar/vocals), Joey Verdonselli (bass/vocals), and Bennie Hayes (drums/vocals).
UPCOMING TOUR DATES
Oct 20 Buffalo Ironworks Buffalo, NY
Oct 26 Bug Jar Rochester, NY
Oct 30 Northside Tavern Cincinnati, OH
DATES W/ ALL THEM WITCHES:
Oct 31 Saturn Birmingham, AL
Nov 1 One Eyed Jacks New Orleans, LA
Nov 2 White Oak Music Hall: Upstairs Houston, TX
Nov 3 Antone’s Austin, TX
Nov 4 Club Dada Dallas, TX
Nov 7 The Rebel Lounge Phoenix, AZ
Nov 8 Beauty Bar Las Vegas, NV
Nov 9 Echoplex Los Angeles, CA
Nov 10 The Casbah San Diego, CA
Nov 13 The Independent San Francisco, CA
Nov 15 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
Nov 16 Freakout Festival Seattle, WA
Nov 17 Rickshaw Theatre Vancouver, Canada
Nov 19 Neurolux. Boise, ID
Nov 20 The State Room Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 21 Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
Nov 23 The Riot Room Kansas City, MO
Nov 24 Blueberry Hill Duck Room St. Louis, MO