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

Sunday, August 9, 2009


If the opening squall of Parker Griggs’ paint-stripper lead guitar on opening cut "I Just Don’t Know" doesn’t tell you something significant about the shit that passes for high-rotation-programmed-within-a-centimetre-of-its-sad-existence commercial radio these days, go to the back of the class. You were off playing ABBA records in the home economics kitchen when the teacher broke out the sacrament and gave the rest of the class the lesson in Hendrix 101. Major Fail. To be accurate, Griggs doesn’t slavishly replicate Jimi’s distinctive overdriven tone and wah-wah wonderment across these 10 bluesy tunes, but he’s batting in the same ballpark and hitting home run after home run for the six string team regardless. Except for the "Voodo Chile" rip in "Hold On Me", it’s actually his vocal that sounds most like Hendrix (cock an ear to "No Jane" for a dose of "Electric Loudland") but who’s going to split (Afro) hairs about which guitar lick, lead-run and trill most resembles the output of which ’70s guitar hero when it all sounds this excessively good? It’s like "461 Ocean Boulevard" never existed. This is not the music (term used under advisement) that you’ll hear leaking out of ill-fitting iPod earbuds on the peak-hour train. Take that as a recommendation. Sanity can only stand so much tinny breaks or arrant rap crap on the 7.42am to Dull City. The eight-minute-plus "No Good Woman" even dares to trade in that most outdated of currencies, The Drum Solo. Far from being The Death Of Us All, the indulgence slots right in. It’s a statement of the obvious that Griggs’ quicksilver fretwork and frenetic, stuttering drums are all over "Brain Cycles." Bassist Zach Anderson goes along for the ride and pours hot asphalt into all the right potholes. Two people haven’t made this much noise together since Pamela and Tommy made their home movie. At least you can play this in front of the kids. The thunderous, acid-drenched blare of the title track might be a bigger downer than an early start on a Tuesday morning after a massive long weekend of partying, but it tastes much better than antacid and Red Bull for breakfast. Only "Black Boot" manages to interrupt the barrage of raw and righteous ’70s rawk – and that’s to dip the toe in the water of bluegrass – but the follow-up of "City Lights" gets us back on track. Sure beats "That ’70s Show" for rear vision entertainment. One of the best trips I’ve taken in 1969, sorry, 2009. – The Barman / I-94 Bar

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