Alive Naturalsound Records

Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at

Thursday, July 31, 2008


As they proved on their ’07 debut, Every Damn Time, Black Diamond Heavies are unique within the field of two-piece white blues rockers not only because the foundation of their sound is John Wesley Myers’ keyboards instead of guitars but also because they have a firm grasp on old fashioned, greasy Southern soul. That advantage is on full display right off the top of A Touch Of Someone Else’s Class, with a bristly take on Ike and Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits” directly followed by the storming “Everything Is Everything.” The fine, horn-infused ballad “Bidin’ My Time” shows some unexpected range, and while on this song in particular it’s easy to make Tom Waits comparisons, it’s just as fair to say that the Heavies’ approach to blues and soul is far less pretentious. There are plenty of booty-shakin’ moments elsewhere and in the end, that should really be all that matters. A Touch Of Someone Else’s Class is a pure adrenaline shot for any jaded rock’n’roll fan in need of one. - Jason Schneider / Exclaim


Along with Jack White, Black Keys main man, Dan Auerbach, helped legitimise the rock duo.

Along with Jack White, Black Keys main man, Dan Auerbach, helped legitimise the rock duo. The Keys have been as much about Auerbach's production nous as his dynamic guitar playing, and now he is applying those knob-twiddling skills to other artists' CDs. Last year he worked wonders, producing and playing guitar on ageing r'n'b singer Nathaniel Mayer's Why Don't You Give It to Me?, and now comes the new album from southern American duo Black Diamond Heavies. There are some obvious similarities to the Black Keys - both are duos who are far greater than the sum of their parts - but Black Diamond Heavies drive their high-energy punk soul with overdriven keyboards instead of guitar, with a pounding, primal drum beat. That basic sound is augmented by occasional bass keys and maracas, and Auerbach guests on guitar on Happy Hour, but from the remarkable opening cover version of Ike and Tina's Nutbush City Limits, which sounds like Tom Waits doing shots with Lemmy from Motorhead, this is pure unadulterated 21st-century rhythm and blues. And party record of the year. - WA Today

BUFFALO KILLERS - Leather Canary

Really digging this band, buffalo killers, right about now...out of cincinnati, there latest lp, let it ride, is a straight trip back to the halcyon days of the early-seventies...with unpolished production from the black key's dan aurbach, you can almost smell the sun soaked grass in their fuzzy groove-orientated rock that's both heavy & laid-back all at once...very good stuff, indeed.
Leather Canary

Tuesday, July 29, 2008






Los Angeles, CA – We're proud to announce the upcoming album release from Nebraska’s 60's influenced garage and old school punks Brimstone Howl. The follow-up to their Dan Auerbach produced debut, the band enlisted Detroit’s legendary producer Jim Diamond to man the boards for their sophomore effort, "We Came in Peace", hitting stores September 2nd.

Led by charismatic singer/songwriter John Ziegler and guitarist extraordinaire Nick Waggoner, with Calvin Retzlaff on drums, the boys traveled to Ghetto Recorders in Detroit for a very productive recording session with the legendary Jim Diamond. Described by NME as "Beatles-headed psych-nerds with a taste for razor sharp snake-rock, We Came in Peace is the follow-up to Guts Of Steel (Alive 2007) an album hailed as "unholy hot-wiring of the Sonics, the Damned and the Blues Explosion" (Magnet) and "cranked lo-fi blues rock from Nebraska's hoodlums" (Uncut).

Despite its cryptic title We Came in Peace is another fun explosion of fuzz and American-gothic chit-chatter, with "weird fictional adventure stories, and beginner blues guitar lessons from mongoloids," as they like to describe it. The album is packed with great songs, including the amazing power punk pop "A Million Years," the Cramps-worshiper "Child of Perdition" or the VU-psych influenced "Easy to Dream".

Brimstone Howl will begin a U.S. tour in September, followed by Europe in October with additional dates being added through next year. Currently, the band has been sharing stages with fellow travelers Jay Reatard (who produced one of their first singles) and the Black Lips, among many others, gathering reviews such as this one: "Pumping with hot red blood, they slopped their rock & roll around the room: dirty, gritty, just right. For the finale, the four players became two piggyback stacks. The playing continued as the dueling human towers wobbled about the room, knocking into the lampshades and ending up in a heap of bodies on the floor and a blistering wall of noise. Now THAT'S how you do it." (Orlando Weekly).

The CD version of We Came in Peace includes one bonus track not on the VINYL version. The first LP pressing on purple vinyl is a limited edition run of 500 copies.

Monday, July 28, 2008

THOMAS FUNCTION - Music Connection


Buffalo Killers are from Cincinnati, Ohio, which sounds about 300 miles from where they should be from (123 Main Street, Cincinnati is 271 miles from 123 Main Street, Nashville) but it begins to make sense when you consider the Black Keys are also from Ohio and that bands' bearded front man, Dan Auerbach sat in the producers seat on the Buffalo Killers' Alive debut, Let It Ride. To say that Buffalo Killers sound like the whiskey soaked, seldom groomed older cousins of Kings of Leon is to only consider one aspect of Buffalo Killers. Granted, "Get Together Now," is an undeniable country burner and the video showing the brothers Zachary and Andrew Gabbard and drummer Joseph Seballi on stage, on the road, drinking, smoking and wearing bell-bottoms doesn't do much to make you realize these dudes are more than just dirty country revivalists.

The Let It Ride LP dabbles with the blues and psychedelia as creatively as it re-interprets slide guitar lines. "Let It Ride," shows the band has spent some time with Jimmy Hendrix's Band of Gypsies and there are songs on the LP that show a full soaking in the song-writing of the Grateful Dead, Charlie Parker, Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. Like all good country music, there is a full awareness of the music that has gone before while showing a unabashed willingness to take those rules and fuck with them. Buffalo Killers are on tour now and with the Black Crowes this fall and seem to be on the road to realizing the lyrics to "If I Get Myself Anywhere" - "I'm a travellin man just pushing ahead, if I get myself anywhere bet you I'd rather be dead, if I get myself anywhere. And we're a travellin band looking for a bed, we're not trying to fight you we're just starvin to death, looking for a bed." Amen. - RCRD

BUFFALO KILLERS - Raven Sings The Blues

A lot of the press surrounding Buffalo Killers has compared them to Blue Cheer and Cream and in some perplexing cases the Beatles. In all fairness the band does evoke the heavy blues of '69 - '70 but more often they channel the same power that flowed through these groups, and not necessarily the characteristics that defined their sound. I can't figure out the Beatles comparisons as anything but lazy but what the band does have is a real knack for evoking the more melodic mid 70's album rockers like Grand Funk and Free, bands who took their cues from the aforementioned forefathers and injected a sense of pop melody into the heaviness. Though in all fairness Buffalo Killers do scatter a bit of country charm into this heavy blues plate, giving them a nice psych-country bent at times as well. Now I mean these comparisons in the best of terms, hell I love Grand Funk, and would highly suggest that the band look into covering "Nothing is the Same" if at all possible during their live shows. Buffalo Killers have folded their influences and obvious affinity for 70's rock into their sound without coming off dated or overly derivative which is often a hard thing to do; instead sounding like a long lost classic which if you're a regular reader you know is something I can't resist. - Raven Sings The Blues

Friday, July 25, 2008

BUFFALO KILLERS - I Rock Cleveland

Do my ears deceive me, or is this some long lost T. Rex track? Has Rolan Bolan been holding back on a treasure trove of sweet boogie oogie laid down by his late father, the great Marc Bolan, before his death? If it's not T Rex, then it has to be an old dusty groove done by Joe Walsh, or Grand Funk Railroad, right? Wrong, wrong, and wrong. If the id3 tag is to be believed, "If I Get Myself Anywhere," comes from the second album by Cincinnati long-haired, retro-rockers, Buffalo Killers.

While everything about this cut, from the laid back Southern charm of the main guitar riff, and the sly, shuffling drum beat, to the velvety vocals, say all-request classic rock request hour, it's a product of the modern age. With the help of the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who helmed the producer's chair, and who knows a thing or two about creating a retro-fantastic vibe, Buffalo Killers managed to avoid the riff by numbers trap which has been the downfall of many a retro rocker, and instead created something authentic. Well, maybe not quite authentic, after all we're some thirty years beyond AOR. Still, at the very least, "If I Don't Get Myself Anywhere" is one of the best damn approximations of the Seventies AOR sound around, and that's no small feat when you're treading on such well worn ground.

MP3: Buffalo Killers - If I Get Myself Anywhere

I Rock Cleveland



Recorded in a breathless three-day session at the Akron studio of Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, this sophomore album by the Nashville duo is a rugged outing that lassoes spontaneity and imperfection. But under the watch of the father of the new blues, who recorded and co-produced the LP, the lightning-in-a-bottle spark is deftly guided by a hand philosophically aligned with the Heavies’ shitbucket blues aesthetic.

The skeletal two-piece - comprised primarily of drums and keyboards - is beefed by a punk spirit and the full-on blare of in-the-red levels. The purposefully fried production gives the record a furious quiver, resulting in a remarkably hard sound despite a lack of guitars in their schema. Leading the charge are the arsenal of keyboards and theatrically guttural grindings of James Leg, which lend power, warmth and soul.

Besides the supple Southern soul of “Bidin’ My Time,” they’re best when they keep things ugly. Highlights include the hairy-chested swagger of the stalking rocker “Loose Yourself,” the gorgeously nasty industrial chug on their cover of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limit,” and the rocked-out, groove-digging cover of T-Model Ford’s “Take a Ride.” Despite missteps like the David Lee Roth goofiness of “Numbers 22” and the old-tahhmey saloon jump of “Happy Hour” that indulge in too much camp, it’s a rousing album that further etches their identifiable signature of junkyard punk and blues revivalism.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Nathaniel sounds like he's on his last breath ... and it's a knockout, skanky moonshine stench to boot. All rasp and soul, Mayer is another dusted off geriatric corpse resurrected by young hipsters, and presented as an obscure missing link between rival garage punk, racy blues and Motown factions back in the day. Not so far fetched that last dog bone actually, as Mayer was indeed a bit of a shaker and a mover if not nationally then certainly regionally. Thankfully he still has enough chutzpa to demonstrate some stage skills the whipper snappers would do well to emulate. With solid backing from Detroit's finest garage pranksters, he proves to be a capable frontman with enough moxie to deliver the goods, and then some. This really is one surprisingly fetching album. Move over Rudy Rae Moore and Andre Williams, the crazy, filthy old man soul revue tent is getting mighty crowded. - Hipcrank

BUFFALO KILLERS - Heave Media review

The Buffalo Killers stampede onward on their sophomore album.
By: Amy Dittmeier

Buffalo Killers
Let it Ride
Alive Records
Release Date: Jul 22, 2008

Cincinnati has done it again. The Buffalo Killers have come out with the recent explosion of band like the Black Keys and the Afghan Whigs from the Ohio capital. Let it Ride, the follow-up to their debut album Buffalo Killers, is a continuation of the Buffalo Killers' developing style from their former band Thee Shams. With gritty guitar work and snappy drum fills, Let it Ride escapes the curse of producing the same album twice by expanding the horizons of the Buffalo Killers' music.

The album starts off with "Get Together Now, Today" which sets the tone for Let it Ride. Where Buffalo Killers' sound more resembled their previous band Thee Shams, Let it Ride branches out further than their first album did and makes the band more into its own entity rather than the remains of their old band. "Get Together Now, Today" has a classic southern rock sound combined with a contemporary garage rock tone and most of Let it Ride follows this same pattern with a few exceptions. "Leave the Sun Behind" sounds more like the trio's work in Thee Shams, but the vocals from brothers Andrew and Zachary Gabbard and the slow rock grind still make it something very much the Buffalo Killer's own.

"Give and Give" and "Take Me Back Home" are another example of the different directions the Buffalo Killers attempt on Let it Ride. The track isn't anything like the music preceding it. Andrew Gabbard incorporates a more 60s sounding guitar riff over his opening lyrics "Everyone thinks that things are gonna change" and drummer Joseph Sebaali uses a marching drum beat to drive the song forward. The chorus is the only part that goes back to the standard Buffalo Killers sound. It's a sound that the band can do, however they haven't mastered it well enough yet for it to be a stand-out point on Let it Ride. However "Take Me Back Home" is written in a certain style that they nail on the head. The track is a little more blues oriented than the rest of the album, but Andrew's guitar work is so enticing that the band pulls it off without a hitch. It's not a complicated song, but the intensity in Andrew's voice makes it into something that stands out from the band's previous release. It's a direction that they can more than handle comfortably, and it's something that makes the Buffalo Killers an ever-changing group.

Friday, July 18, 2008

BUFFALO KILLERS new video for "Get Together Now Today"

Cincinnati psychedelic blues trio, Buffalo Killers, have just released a new video for the song "Get Together Now Today". The band will begin their summer tour tomorrow Friday, July 18th and perform as part of a stellar line-up at the 2nd Annual Deep Blues Festival on Saturday, July 19th. Their upcoming album "Let it Ride", produced and recorded by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach at his Akron, Ohio studio, is a 60s psychedelic and 70s blues rock inspired sound.
Following their summer U.S. run, the band will again head out on in support of the Black Crowes this fall.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

THOMAS FUNCTION - Get Up Offa That Thing

Artist: Thomas Function
Album: Celebration!
Label: Alive Records

This album won’t work in winter. It is too warm, too hot and sticky and fun. It is a summer record, and I have been playing the hell out of it lately. The songs are busy—it’s true—but once your ears warm up to their sound, the whole mix is very enjoyable. Nothing is too overpowering: there are equal moments for the guitars, the bass, the drums, organ/piano, and vocals. The melodies are quite good, too, so it is also satisfying on a cursory listen.

Thomas Function – “Can’t Say No”

Rough and upbeat, this is my favorite track on the album. The chorus is addictive: “When you’re screaming my name, I can’t say no!” And of course, I’m always a sucker for a dynamic bass line.

Thomas Function – “Snake in the Grass”

This is one of the more driven songs on the album (other tracks I would consider more jangly or bobbing, if that makes sense). Again, most of the sounds are well balanced, though Joshua Macero’s soft yelping dominates at times.

The full album is worth a listen, so check out their label site and buy the album. There are also a couple pretty good reviews of the band (here, here) worth checking out if you want more info.
Get Up Offa That Thing


Black Diamond Heavies

If you are a musician, dig playing blues and have the talent to record, then I suggest you look up Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and ask him nicely to produce your next album. Black Diamond Heavies’ first album Every Damn Time was an enjoyable listen, but A Touch of Someone Else’s Class is a giant step forward. While the recipe of John Wesley Myers and Van Campbell remains the same, Auerbach has introduced a few new elements to the mix that really take the Tennessee twosome forward.

The dynamic of the band is very similar to the Keys. Both Auerbach and Myers are wholly dependent on their respective drummers to do more than simply keep a beat. They are responsible for becoming the driving force of the band to allow their frontmen a tremendous amount of freedom. Patrick Carney is my favorite drummer around today, but Van Campbell is definitely in the same league. I have listened to this album countless times and am truly blown away by his playing.

As for Myers, he still delivers his vocals ala Tom Waits. In fact Ralph Carney, a horn player for Waits and Patrick Carney’s uncle is introduced on one track, “Bidin’ My Time” that oozes soul. Much like “All To Hell” from the first album, it gives off an Otis Redding vibe that makes me want to slow dance with my lady.

Myers is equally adept when the boys turn it up a notch as well. “Nutbush City Limit,” “Make Some Time” and my favorite, “Smooth It Out” are all dirty, scuzzy blues rockers. Myers works the organ into a lather and delivers the vocals like he’s part demon.

Much like BBQ joints, there are some people that like their ribs in a quaint, well-lit atmosphere with shiny sliverware. And then there are those of us who like their ribs slapped on some white bread in a joint where you can barely see the silverware. Black Diamond Heavies are that hole-in-wall BBQ place. - HearYa

Sunday, July 13, 2008

RON FRANKLIN - American Songwriter

“...She’s not the type to hang around Natchez long, you understand- she’ll be bringing biscuits to somebody clear over in Bossier City before she’s done. Hell, you get the idea . Like Jeff Evans would say, I don’t have to draw you a picture.” On many occasions, it is best to let an artist speak for himself. The above passage is not from a Ron Franklin song but rather the liner notes of the Marion, Arkansas native’s latest, eponymous effort (Alive). To say that Franklin’s somewhat disembodied blues are populated by rag tag characters doing unexpected things is a pitiful understatement; these carnival visions of life seem to completely envelop Franklin himself, a high-caliber composer, writer and instrumentalist who either reeks of genius or is slightly insane. Simultaneously confounding, triumphant and definitely worth a listen...or two dozen. - American Songwriter

BUFFALO KILLERS - Downtown Money Waster

Smoking hot, seductive, slow roasted, and nurtured by the tonal fuzz of Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach, the Buffalo Killers are proving to be the black knights of rock’s new doctrine. They are an outfit that bares the scares of an industry littered with instability at the hands of the decline of record sales, the emergence of the new revolving pop, and the death of rock n’ roll. It is in this environment that rock’s new order thrives. For the Cincinnati, Ohio natives, their brash gritty expulsion of road warrior glory comes at a time when the tradition is in its most dire hour. Their sophomore LP Let It Ride still holds on tight to the influences of Cream, the harmonies of Neil Young and the Beatles, as well as incorporating the slow sustained fuzz of swagger-driven solos.

Recorded in Akron, Ohio and a liner note nod to Black Crowes frontman, Chris Robinson, the recording sports ten songs of oozing rock glory. Even though production credits and the tone of the record come from Auerbach, the song structure is directly influential from that of the Black Crowes. Meaning, the songs, though not longer in 5 minutes in length, linger, relax, and meander in the heart of the groove.

“I cannot sit well / can’t you tell, can’t you tell/ my ears are ringing like bells,” sings Zach Gabbard in the LP’s opener “Get Together Now Today.” It is riff based blues with thick phrases being laid down with the tension tug of molasses. “Let it Ride” follows with the full essence of rock n’ roll combined with the lyrics of slap stick hooks.

Lines like “We are a traveling band / looking for a bed / we are not trying to hurt you / we are just starving to death,” relays the story, while Joseph Sebaali’s drum work is particularly impressive and loose.

Additional song standouts are “Black Paper” and “Take Me Back Home” which reminds me of the Beatles White Album staple, “Yer Blues.”

The record hit streets July 8, 2008. Go buy it. - Downtown Money Waster

Friday, July 11, 2008


Get to Know: Buffalo Killers
The Ohio based Buffalo Killers give a gritty, classic sound.
By: Amy Dittmeier

Who knew Ohio was so cool? Cincinnati has become something more than the home of the largest Oktoberfest in the U.S. with the recent success of Ohio natives Afghan Whigs and the Black Keys. An explosion of aggressive guitars, throbbing drum beats and boogie bass work has come out of the Ohio capital, giving it a couple cool points. The Buffalo Killers, riding the aftershocks of their previous band, are the latest addition to the Midwest fad. The Cincinnati trio, made up of brothers Andrew and Zachary Gabbard and Joseph Sebaali, originally played in the band Thee Shams for almost seven years before creating their new band. Though the band has only been together for two years, they've already gotten some decent gigs opening up for the Black Crowes and the Black Keys. Where Thee Shams was into rough guitar work combined with southern rock, Buffalo Killers bring back the feel of rock and roll that our parents use to get high to in their college dorm rooms. It's a throwback to the days of classic rock but mixed with something new and modern, escaping the niche of a novelty act.

Their self-titled debut is an evolution of their work in Thee Shams. From the slow jam opener "San Martine Des Morelle" to the bluesy garage rock track "Children of War", Buffalo Killers fail to disappoint. Thee Shams' garage rock roots are still evident during Buffalo Killers, however the brothers Gabbard and Sebaali spin off the genre by adding a wah-wah pedal and some major guitar fuzz. Andrew Gabbard's voice rips through the guitar distortion on tracks like "Fit to Breathe" with such force you think he's going to pass out at the end of the song. Their most recent release, Let it Ride, continues where Buffalo Killers left off, with the title track featuring both brothers screaming "Let it ride" backed by Andrew Gabbard's tantalizing guitar and Sebaali's forceful drums.

The featured single "Get Together Now, Today" off of Let it Ride inspires images of driving a vintage Mustang on a dusty highway after a bad break-up. It has less distortion than some of Buffalo Killers' other tracks, but it's stripped down nature makes its message that much more potent. Zachary Gabbard lays down a slinky bass line for Andrew to jam to as he sings, "I do not sit well, can you tell?" It's a great opener for Let it Ride and an even better example of who the Buffalo Killers really are. - Heave Media

Monday, July 7, 2008


BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES – A Touch Of Someone Else’s Class (Alive) - Now this time around they got it nailed from the start, filthy dirty analogue organ and spot on drummer. Just the two of them and some filthy dirty organ driven old school blues. They’re from the Southern United States and they say something about being influenced by “piece of shit cars, the criminal justice system, crazyass women and southern religious hypocrisy”. They got the classic blues/soul of John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, R.L Burnside, Seasick Steve, and yeah a bit of White Stripes/Shellac suss on their side along with that righteous organ sound. The whole thing is wholesome and they’re setting down there right there with man from the crossroads on the porch sipping cheap beer and doing it just right. Yep, this is good old punk-ass organ driven analogue blues - smoking, filthy, drenched in soul, over-driven and like they say, they’ll have their way and catch you somewhere on the other side. They got soul, they got moody bits, they got stompin bits and they got gospel and they got it nailed from the start with a touch of someone else’s class in the shape of the filthiest dirtiest stompinest version of Nutbush City Limits you ever did hear. And as for that start of Loose Yourself! Are you sure they didn’t make this album in 1974? Bidin My Time has to be an old jazz soul classic from the 60’s, something off Stax or something, old lost early Otis Reading thing maybe? Can’t be a new song they just wrote? There is a Nina Simone song here and most of it is just nailed down filthy organ driven blues, the kind of thing that makes upstart bands like The Black Keys look like wet behind the ears indie kids in comparison. As cool as f! - Organ

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