John Wilkes Booth ~ Useless Lucy (2014)
Four guys from the state of New York have taken the moniker of Abraham Lincoln's assassin, kind of ironic, right? There is nothing ironic about this gritty and raw Rock and Roll music that they bang out however. With all of the "Post-this", and "Post-that" genres floating around that I still don't fully understand, it's refreshing to be offered up something that is just straightforward, balls out Rock and Roll, even if there are a couple non-conventional things thrown in from time to time. From top to bottom this album pulls on everything you've heard and loved from Modern Rock, but leaves it coated in a layer of that old John Wilkes Booth DNA. The vocal delivery was one of the first things I noticed about the music, almost always with a gritty edge but a certain bluesy harmony, the vocal performance reminds me of Throttlerod a bit, but he isn't a one trick pony, flexing multiple vocal muscles over the course of the album. The group its self is impeccable, always sounding tight and on point, with the guitar player always feeding the riff machine, and feeding the bastard well with everything from heavy Blues to grooving, fuzzed out Stoner Rock riffs. Getting to the rhythm section of the group, the drummer always keeps things swinging, propelling the song forward with every strike on skin or cymbal. The bass player has one of the cleanest, most distinct tones I've heard in a while, no matter the track the bass lines are always thick and crunchy, letting the bottom end really cut through the mix. The song I seemed to gravitate to the most on the album was "13 Years", opening up with a soft guitar riff it doesn't take long for the vocals to start up and the drums to come crashing their way into the mix, when that happens the track really kicks off. The song goes from peak to valley a few times over the duration, following the verse and chorus pattern until halfway when the track's guitar solo kicks in and renders the song forever changed. If everything is starting to feel a bit stale in your music collection, this album may be just the thing you're looking for, you can head to their bandcamp and give it a listen, and if you dig what these guys are doing, pick up one of their CDs for just ten bones.