boogie pimps - The I-94 Bar
There’s only one thing to do with this album: Play it. Loud. Over and over, Recorded in an analogue Italian studio in two days by a German duo, it’s soaked in whiskey, boogie and blues.
You can bitch about bands that go out of their way to sound vintage and to some extent you’d be right most of the time, but there’s no faking this stuff when it’s played correctly and in the right spirit.
“Bogies Pimps” is not self-consciously retro - it actually sounds contemporary but without the affectations you might expect, or a clean-up. It’s stripped back Chicago blues and The Juke Joint Pimps could be playing in your lounge room. Only on the closing “Mister Vegan” do the Pimps allow themselves a brief surrender to a looped electronic rhythm track.
A word about words: Albums should be all about music, but descriptors count because they convey an identifiable concept of what the music sounds like. Lockport, New York, Handsome Jack’s record label, Alive Naturalsounds, calls them “boogie soul”. That cap fits…so you know the rest about wearing it.
Fourteen years into the game and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” is the third long-player for Handsome Jack since they kicked off as a trio of precocious teens in a ubiquitous garage. Two of the three members remain - drummer Bennie Hayes is a newcomer - and while stability like that is a rarity, it’s also a virtue.
Guitarist Jamison Passuite summons up John Fogerty with his rich and resonant vocal on opening track “Keep On”; other places he echoes Southern rock and Stax soul. Throw in some Delta blues and the rest of this sure-footed, grooving album doesn’t stray far from the inspirational well. Many, if not most, of their influences seem to have been around before these guys were born. Is that a bad thing?
Rough And Tumble - The Dirty Streets (Alive Naturalsound)
They might not realise it but Califonian label Alive Naturalsound have cornered the market in hirsute bands playing psych-laced, Southern fried boogie rock with a dash of soul. The Dirty Streets might be the label's archetypal flag-fliers.
They lack the massive guitar jam excesses of Radio Moscow, the rustic dryness of the early Black Keys or the home-grown stoner full-tilt boogie strut of Left Lane Cruiser (all of them label mates, past or present) but The Dirty Streets share the same zipcode.