Southern Fried Rock & Blues (2020)

Albums sometimes emerge from oblivion through more or less hazardous reissues. Often times, they would have been better off staying there. This is not necessarily the case for this record dating from 1996. However, you should not be fooled by its false title because it is not about southern rock. Already, the group is originally from California, a state far from the Deep South both geographically and musically. Then, this realization is oriented more towards a relatively fast bluesy rock (“Watcha gonna do?”, “Can't buy a stairway”) alternated with slow blues in minor mode (“Goin 'down to the water”) or major ("Don't want to do them") during which the guitarists let go. The fast country-rock "Hellbound train" spices up a bit of spice with an overheated slide. The "Broken Vessel" ballad is adorned with some guitar bends somewhat reminiscent of Gary Rossington and ends with a tempo acceleration with six-strings in unison. The square rock "Check mate" gets you stamp your foot and the funky "Crossways" lets express a slide with southern accents. In fact, it’s really only this slide guitar that gives flavor to this likable album but not punchy enough to break into the ruthless world of the music business. A record that did not have dazzling success for obvious reasons of relative banality.

Olivier Aubry


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