Cargo Records [Release date 16.08.19]
Second album from this bluesy melodic rock group, and it follows on nicely from their debut, the acclaimed ‘Fighting Demons’. Again featuring guitarist Manny Charlton (also dobro, best known as a founder member and chief songwriter for Nazareth), with guest bassist Neil Murray (Whitesnake et al), it’s immediately a fine set.
I was first introduced to this band by SKoR vocalist Emil Gammeltoft (a man with his own Nazareth connections), and since then guitarist and vocalist Helge Rognstad has become a friend. Alongside Helge are bassist Jerry Bessent and drummer Nick Rhodes.
From the outset there are deep and smooth vocals, and a bluesy feel. Manny’s guitar adds a lot to the band, a solid blues feel (something Nazareth have lacked since the mid 80s), and on tracks like ‘Give Me Something’ the use of acoustic guitar there’s a nod to both country and folk, as well as the blues, while retaining the melodic rock overtones.
The duet with Alison Cooper is a good touch, and ‘John The Revelator’ has a great groove, the fuzz adding some heaviness. And it’s the heavier tracks where the guitar stands out. While ‘Tongues Wag’ has a stripped down feel, it’s heavy solid and it gets your head nodding.
Nine new tracks, a great feel and some moments of magic. Then there’s the bonus DVD that adds music videos, band interviews, guest interviews, rehearsals and a look at Helge’s and Manny’s guitars. What’s not to love?
What a wonderful album and combination of musicians. ****
Review by Joe Geesin
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