Back to Broke (2017)

Believe it or not, but from the mid 70's to the early 80's, the New York and New Jersey area was sprinkled with Southern sauce by a combo called Southern Cross (a bunch of little guys from Knoxville Tennessee, came to try their luck in the city that never sleeps). Decades later, guitarist Mike "Tiny" Dykes let guns do the talking again with his new band Radar (whose average age ranges from "not very young anymore" and "soon old"). And there, you can think that all this is likely to smell the warmed over and not to bring much more. Well, think again! This record is awesome and it feels like back to the golden age of Southern rock. From the beginning, we fall for "Back to broke", a rhythmic title reminiscent of the 38 Special first period, with an extended solo in the spirit of Jeff Carlisi. Southern rock fans will not be disappointed! Then, it hits hard with « Ain’t no fool » (a Southern blues-rock mid tempo well sent, with a long solid solo) and « Too blue to have the blues » (a hard Southern rock that make stomp the feet with the two guitarists who drop aggressive solos). We also like « Those kind of nights » (a fast and effective rock with a damned solo) and "V8 Ford" (tough and lively with a « killer » solo at the limit of hard rock). But the best is yet to come with two great tunes that disgrace the listener. First, « Man I’ll never be » with his obvious Outlaws influence. This song begins as a typical Southern ballad then rushes on the end with a passage to the third and a great solo worthy of the greatest guitarists. And then, the fast instrumental « Stampede », mix of Outlaws and Marshall Tucker Band (« Silverado »). This title is a real master stroke that resurrects the Southern rock in less than three minutes. The theme is played at the third and the two axemen let go without restraint. An instrumental like we had not heard in years! No need to talk longer about this delicious « Back to broke », just listen to it ... taking care to mount the bass (only small production defect). At a time when we sometimes wonder why some artists release an album of fourteen or fifteen titles, the guys of Radar demonstrate their effectiveness and their talent in only seven tunes. A lesson to remember!

Southern Rock Revenge !

Olivier Aubry

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