You know you are on to a good thing when songs continue to repeat themselves in thoughts long after enjoying a close and personal encounter. Such is the way with the Red Dressed EP from US rockers Forty Feet Tall. Offering four slices of blues fuelled rock ‘n’ roll, the release is a wholly magnetic affair loaded with grooves which just do not know when to stay away; not that there is any wish for them to do so.
Formed in 2011 when four fifths of the band were in high school, Los Angeles based Forty Feet Tall has earned potent support and reputation across Southern California, leading to the band playing a host of prestigious venues such as The Troubadour, Club Nokia, The Roxy, and the Grammy Museum as well as the main stage at Topanga Days. Their first EP, 4AM released at the beginning of 2014, was swiftly eclipsed in success and attention by the band’s self-titled debut album later that same year. It revelled in inspiration taken from the likes of Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, The Black Keys, The Strokes, Led Zeppelin, Dawes, and Howlin’ Wolf whilst offering its own breath of imagination, an essence blossoming to greater heights within Red Dressed.
Its title track sets things in motion, a resonating bassline the first beckon soon joined by percussion with a sense of hunger to it as to the eager strokes of guitar soon joining in. The lively simmer becomes an energetic dance, the keys of Charlie Sehres a captivating bloom alongside the enterprise of his brother Jack and vocalist Cole Gann’s guitars. With rhythms just as boisterous in the stop start bounce and subsequent fiery waltz, the track simply infects ears and appetite for spicy rock ‘n’ roll.
It is a superb start to the Chris Garcia produced EP, a moment just revelling in the band’s blues rock instincts with magnetic energy and craft as equally Gann’s vocal prowess, just as lively in the following Make It Hum. At first holding its self-back in a flirtatious prowl lined by tempting riffs as a melodic breeze wraps Gann’s just as subtle croon, the song’s simmer continually builds, igniting in a ballsy crescendo which still barely breaks the track’s relaxed gait. With a touch of bands like Black Tusk to its increasingly heavyweight eruptions, Guy Moore’s bass a great throaty growl through it all, and fire in the veins of the grooves wrapping the senses, the song is a sonic seduction aligned to an earthy rumble and thorough pleasure.
Two Shots is next with its bouncy gait and bass grumble, both entwined by more flirtation soaked grooves as Steven Driscoll’s laid back swinging beats punctuate the brewing blaze, a fire in the belly intensifying with increasing dynamism and incitement across the song. Once more Gann adds expressive colour and passion to the mix, though it is the tangy grooves which spark the biggest lust.
A fine cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival track Run Through The Jungle brings things to a magnetic close, its roots and psych rock scented swagger and overall character, a radiant endeavour in the hands of Forty Feet Tall. It completes a release as fresh as it is a bubble of recognisable flavours and influences, a celebration of a band drawing up their own personality with thoroughly enjoyable results.
The Red Dressed EP is available now @ https://fortyfeettall.bandcamp.com/album/red-dressed
Pete RingMaster 29/03/2017
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