Monday, February 6, 2012

The LONELY H: "Concrete Class"

Rating: 6/10

Label: TSM/SLW 2012

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"Concrete Class" uses a retro blues vibe and the dito mellow sounds of roaring and bellowing of long gone days. It's the sort of blues that surely doesn't feel threatened by the presence of todays music. To be frank, this could just as easily have been released back in 1973 and you'd all be happy to spin the vinyl. It takes the laidback approach of (early) The Eagles, The Allman Brothers, Stones, and Jackson Browne, and do not expect to find a lot of uptempo tracks whatsoever really. "Diggin' A Hole" and "Phoenix" are however exceptions to the rule with its Stones meet classic rock attitude.

It's otherwise a lot of "flowers in your hair" and acoustic blues melodies where Eric Whitman shines with banjo, mandolin and lap steel performances. Pardon me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Lonely H are simply playing the old 'Americana' card on several occasions and it's supposed to attract/lure hillbillies to come running down the mountains, leaving their pregnent wife/cousin and moonshine behind. There's no denying that it's the old sound of America and it's almost like if the U.S. quartet expect their listeners to have some knowledge about the AM/FM playlist of 1973??

For what it's worth, The Lonely H does sound like 1973 and "Concrete Class" contains music not a million miles away from the standard of the old days. This ancient preference could quite easily become irritating, but with their material and fine vocalist (Mark Fredson), the band actually manage to pull things off and deliver a rather stong effort indeed.

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