Review by Lindsay Smith for MPM
If you have never listened to MOTHER ROAD then you have been missing out. This, their second album has been a long time coming out but it was worth the wait.
Formed in 2013, the band are Keith Slack on vocals, Chris Lyne, guitars, Barry Sparks, bass and Zacky Tsoukas on drums. A brief split ensued before the guys reformed and have recorded this really good blues rock album which shows their talents, song-writing ability and a love for good music.
From the off with the opening track “Fools Gold’, rock and roll begins! Slack has a bluesy tone to his vocal which suits the track and an up beat tempo show this is a strong opener. ‘Sticks and Stones’ opens with splintering riffs leads you headlong into a catchy chorus with a vocal reminiscent of late 70’s chilled out blues singers easing you into their vibes and holding you there.
It’s wake up time with a powerful opening from Slack, on ‘Spread It All Around’ I must say I love his voice, the tone and the ease in the way the melody flows riding above keys and guitars. I’m hooked on this song.
‘Matter of Time’ rumbles through the riffs into a very bluesy song. The repeated riffs are spot on yet again and leading into the chorus before reminding you just how soaring the riffs can get. It feels very 70’s early 80’s blues rock again but this is a very welcome vibe.
‘Without You’ slows things down to a mellow guitar and Hammond organ which instantly makes it feel almost church like but this is the church of the blues. Add in some splintering riffs while retaining the vibe and it becomes not just a good track but a really great one.
‘Side to Side’ has so much going on underneath the vocal, punchy drumming and those warbling, dirty riffs, layers on layers of skill and melody. A track which has a live quality to it.
‘Cold Heat’ explosive drumming and dominant guitar riffs but with so much groove winding through via horns and keys highlighting just how much groove you can get into a track whist still retaining a blues rock identity with a smattering of southern blues.
‘Aint Got The Blues’ – move over Mr Coverdale! I’m blown away with the vocal. the arrangement, the musicality of the track all supporting an easy laid back vocal which very much does have the blues by the bucket full.
‘The One You Keep’ and we are back to punchy rock and roll, duelling guitar and Hammond certainly add to the track and a good dose of funk sits firmly throughout.
How do you finish off such a superb collection of songs – with ‘Southland’ which has everything I have mentioned from all the other songs but tidied into a more melodic package.
I was so keen for this album to be released after the guys original Mother Road album and hearing teasers of some of these new songs had me really looking forward to seeing if this was as bluesy as I thought and it is an absolute treat.
The Hammond and the guitars are sublime throughout and I love the tone to Slacks vocal. Strong songs which remind me of Free, Bad Company, early Whitesnake, Deep Purple – oh the list goes on but in today’s musical offerings this really has hit the nail on the head for those of us who like variety within the genre of rock and roll.
Well done guys, knew it would be awesome and it’s so good to be proved right!
Keith Slack – Vocals
Chris Lyne – Guitars
Barry Sparks – Bass
Zacky Tsoukas – Drums
Order Mother Road “2”: https://smarturl.it/9gkvzu