Uniting blues and rock ‘n’ roll, and many other colours with their own feverish climate of imagination and dirt encrusted textures, UK rockers The Mojo Slide release their first album this month, an encounter as fiery and sonically smoky as an alcohol fuelled barbecue. Twist Your Bones offers eleven faces of blues scented dark rock ‘n’ roll, each song a fresh twist on another whilst breeding their own distinctive dose of contagious devilry.
It is an infection loaded flavouring which has captured loyal and eager support for the Cambridge, St Neots, and Cambridgeshire hailing quintet since they formed in 2011. Locally and further afield, The Mojo Slide has built a rich reputation for their live stomp, an earned stature backed by a clutch of singles leading to the release of their gripping full-length debut, it a proposition easy to imagine pushing the band to national attention with the potential for much more.
Twist Your Bones opens with the glorious Addicted, a song which from its first breath of scuzzy guitar seizes ears and attention. In a few moments more rhythms are strolling with carnival-esque revelry as the voice of Mark Wilks stands astride sharing the track’s narrative like a side show barker. With quaint keys courting the thick enticing of Mike Fenna’s guitar backed in potency by the prowess of rhythm guitarist Matt Legg, the song swings along with vaudevillian virulence, simultaneously riding a rhythmic contagion cast by bassist Danny Savage and drummer Michael Graham. There is a touch of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers to the impressive opener which continues into the just as thrilling Jesus Don’t Love Me. The second song similarly opens on thick guitar bait, scything riffs aligning with a throaty bassline too as an instant catchiness comes the way of the vocals. Again as its predecessor, the outstanding track has its and the listener’s hips swinging with zeal whilst it roams the imagination with a jazz/funk bred tenacity entwined in warped rock ‘n’ roll.
From an old single to the band’s new one in the warm embrace of Smiling. Just released to make a potent teaser for the album, the country bloomed croon gently glides along on a southern twang and again highly enjoyable vocals, that union alone brewing a catchy tempting under the track’s sultry air and blues seamed The Black Keys type serenade. Though not as dramatic as the first two, the song reveals the depth and adventure to the band’s songwriting and sound whilst indeed laying down a strong invitation for Twist Your Bones.
The following High is a blaze of harmonic and sonic causticity and again an inescapably addictive persuasion, with Wilks the ringleader of a gloriously compelling chorus and the energetic bubbling of blues acidity around it. As many songs, there is a sense of recognition to the inspirations and flavours within the song, yet brewed and boiled up into a distinctive swagger. Norwegian rockers Electric Woodland do come to mind during already another big highlight of the album but as suggested, only a welcoming spice in The Mojo Slide stomp.
Make You Bleed is similarly styled sound wise but leaning more towards a Rolling Stones meets White Stripes flame of sonic seduction whilst previous single Bad In Every Bone, is a slice of delta blues inspired tempting spun by the conflagrant craft and enterprise of the guitars. Stalked by the throaty shadows of bass and intimidating beats, the track seduces as it prowls, adding a funk infused essence to its blues which definitely has a tang of Red Hot Chili Peppers to it. Both tracks impress and get the body keenly moving, with the latter a real incendiary incitement before Rattlesnake Humbug Blues gets feet and hips bursting with further energy with its classic Jerry Lee Lewis toned rock ‘n’ roll.
A transfixing dance of vintage/modern keys brings a captivating texture and enticement to The Ballad Of Satan The Devil next, at times the song laying a Doors like touch on ears whilst in other moments eighties electro pop nudges as an Arctic Monkeys like spicing lurks in the heated roar of the song. It is another shade of sound and creativity in the album, as mentioned its diversity an enjoyable trait continuing in the Dylan-esque canter of Little Bird and in turn the soul blues meets rockabilly, bluegrass seeded Drunk Dog Blues. If an appetite for the album was wavering, something highly unlikely as we found, the track chains it back up again in rich style, quickly backed by the closing psych rock burn of The Sky Is Falling In, a sizzling ramble of rock ‘n’ roll also searing ears and exciting the senses.
For those with a bent for blues and firebrand rock ‘n’ roll, Twist Your Bones is a must, but equally it has a twisted and slightly psychotic tinge to its voice and invention which will appeal to those with a taste for bold alternative adventures. Our recommendation is to go find out if it is for you anyway as fun is a sure fire reward.
Twist Your Bones is released November 14th @ http://www.themojoslide.com/music–2
Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015
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