Hailing from Austin, Texas, the name of this band: Black Joe Lewis. Their game: southern skulduggery in the form of fuzzy, dirty Zep riffs, punk and bastard blues. Going back a bit, Joe Lewis wrote 2009's'Sugarfoot', a funk revivalist stomp which always intrigued. Checking out that track's accompanying debut album Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is, the James Brown comparisons were obvious - a bit too much to be taken seriously. Basically, it was good music but derivative. Baring sonic similarities can be detrimental, especially stacked against a singular artist like the Godfather of Soul. But this time round, the band has (mostly) shaken off the comparisons. It's gotten a bit looser, a bit more dangerous and definitely sleazier with third album Electric Slave.
Obvious review in short: Shit's raw, son. Black Keys comparisons could be obvious, but the shouts and growls coming from Lewis' diaphragm beg otherwise. The short stabs of brass cut through the mix like tripwire, and the guitars are live and loud - it's what soul sounds like at 4am in the morning.
‘Skulldiggin' is straight mud dirty. A monster of a riff, I salivate to hear this live. ‘Come To My Party' is sweat ridden party funk with an inventive middle eight, a lighter moment that is a slight break from the onslaught. The start of ‘Vampire' sounds like someone letting off a firecracker through a brothel. ‘The Hipster' is just a damn good time. Really gripping, gritty stuff.
There are some pitfalls, when the obvious influences hurt the songs, such as ‘My Blood Ain't Runnin Right'downright imitating Iggy Pop's vocal delivery. Again, can't take it seriously. It's when the band becomes sloppy and uninhabited when it gets exciting, when they start breaking boundaries. Listen to closer'Mamma's Queen' to hear this in full effect.
What I mainly dig about Electric Slave is how spontaneous and live it really sounds. I'm hearing it through headphones, but can envision a basement full of people holding half empty whiskey bottles, out of their mind, gettin' down right next to the band. Music that evocative can't be bad for your health. Buy it.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.