Classic Rock Magazine #180: Ones To Watch 2013

Here we have one of the best new music compilations I’ve heard in ages. Sent to me by Scott, our HMO (I, for one, welcome our Heavy Metal Overlord). It’s Classic Rock #180, “Ones To Watch 2013,” and it’s fantastic.

Gary Clark Jr’s Bright Lights wasn’t new to me, I already own that excellent EP. It has a great blues sound. Next is Big Wreck’s song called Albatross. BIG WRECK?! Like, the That Song guys? Really? YES! And it’s an anthemic, big rawk tune typical of them. Nice to hear from these guys again.

The Temperance Movement does Only Friend, a blues-rawk tune reminiscent of a Crowes-ish style. The vocals sound forced to me – unless that guy actually talks like that all the time. Then fair enough. It’s not a bad tune at all, though a bit repetitive. Next is Shovels & Rope with Hail Hail which, disappointingly, is not a cover of Pearl Jam. Instead, it’s a sweet shuffle tune that’s actually a highlight track on the disc. Trumpets! I always cheer for the trumpets. There’s some Sloan-y harmonies here too. Hey Scott! SLOOOOOAAAANN!!

Black Drawing Chalks have a silly name, but their song Cut Myself In 2 has a neat song-idea and pulls it off. It’s a cool track that gets better as it goes along. RNDM does Williamsburg, which is like an updated soul song built on minimal instrumentation. Just let the groove take you, it’s all fine.

Crippled Black Phoenix also has a silly band name, and their song Hold On (So Goodbye To All Of That) sounds like one of those slow-build U2 tracks. You know the ones I mean. If that’s good for you, right on. Diagonal does Capsizing, which has an atmospheric slow intro, which eventually picks up into a rock beat with sax. Around 3:00 it becomes a jazzy freak-out. Then it levels out a bit to a nice rock jazz thing that lasts about 6:30.

Virgin Marys’s Taking The Blame is full-on blues rawk very reminiscent of bands like Jet or Black Keys. This would be fun live. Goldsboro does a tune called Great White Buffalo, which is heavier than a lot of what I’ve heard here so far, and faster. It’s a big, big track. I liked this!

Crowns are next with Stitches In The Flag. Hello, Pogues. Or Great Big Sea. Or… and so on. Next is Spirit Family Reunion’s I’ll Find A Way, which is a slow, front porch jam complete with banjo. Quite a change of pace. Nice. Then it’s The Union’s track called You’re My Jesus, which is more blues rawk with slide guitar over a heavy, hypnotic riff. They even have back-up soul singers.

Lord Huron does Time To Run, a slow build (again) into a truly unique track. It has almost a world music feel to it, very pop yet rooted deeper. Alfa 9’s Old Man Blues has a pure Beatles intro, and it’s a pop rocker with blues tinges and harmonica. It’s good to bop to.

In sum, This is a very well-crafted compilation, very coherent (usually they’re a bit disparate). There’s a ton to like here. Thanks heaps, Scott!!


Posted on April 10, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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