Friday, February 18, 2011

The REX CARROLL Band: "That Was Then, This Is Now"

Rating: 5/10

Label: Retroactive Record 2011

Review by Endre 'Bandi' Hübner

I guess it's kinda fitting that a label named Retroactive comes out with an album titled "That Was Then, This Is Now"... Add that the man on the cover looks like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Allen Colling reincarnated in one single body and you get the picture. However musically The Rex Carroll Band is somewhat less polished and more straightforward than Lynyrd Skynyrd or Stevie Ray, it's still hard rock rooted in blues but with a rather rough sound, a bit like Blackfoot and the alikes.

All in all the above mentioned references and the fact that there's some solid musicianship to be heard on the album would call for a better rating however I can't get past the fact that Rex handles the vocals himself which he shouldn't do. He's a much better guitar player than singer (can't help but recall that late Gary Moore here) and that takes much of the fun away. These songs would come alive with a better singer as they are all decent bluesy hard rock tunes, simple stompers with tight drum-bass grooves and damn good riffs.

My personal favorites were "Foolsgold", a track where Rex shows there's more to his playing than midtempo blues rock, and "My Train" a decent track with cool lyrics and some catchy guitarwork. The Rex Carroll Band might be just another band who are a lot more entertaining live in a pub than on a disc, so make sure to give them a chance once they come to town.

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