New band leaving the music industry with shakesPublished 11:33am Thursday, April 5, 2012
A new band is shaking up the music scene a bit.harmony
Alabama Shakes brings a heavy dose of the southern blues to rock with “Boys and Girls.”
The first album from the Athens, Ala., band is an addictive set of 11 tracks that combine blues with soul for something that often sounds plucked from the 1960s or 1970s.
Alabama Shakes relies heavily on a mellow southern roots rock, mixed with soul and blues influences. Brittany Howard provides the soul with a booming voice that’s never overbearing. She maintains just as much emotion in her quiet verses as in her soaring choruses where her voice cracks and strains.
“Hold On” opens “Boys and Girls” on a simple, pleasant note with Howard coming to life across the verses and choruses carried by an easy melody of guitars and bass. Howard opens sounding older than her years: “Bless my heart, bless my soul, never thought I’d make it to 22-years-old.”
With two guitars, a bass and drums, Alabama Shakes easy attains full, lush sound without overcompensating with distortions or power chords.
Blues rock isn’t a reinvented genre. It’s been alive and well in the ample hands of the Black Keys since the two-piece band debuted in 2002 with “The Big Come Up.”
Alabama Shakes may follow in the Black Keys’ footsteps but the two are far from an apples to apples comparison. Alabama Shakes dusts off the dirty garage/basement rock mentality of the Black Keys for something silky smooth and full of soul.
Howard shines on catchy tracks like “Hang Loose” and “Rise to the Sun.”
“On Your Way” ends the album with a twist of gospel, as the track resembles a hymn converted to rock ‘n’ roll.
“I Love You, It’s Cool” by Bear in Heaven (3 out of 5)
If you’re looking for a new dose of electronic music, Bear in Heaven’s “I love You, It’s Cool” is just the ticket.
Like many bands that rely heavily on a specific style, tracks on the band’s fifth album occasionally blend together in a sea of sound.
But if you can sift through the fuzz of frantic synthesizers and keyboards, there’s plenty to like on the spacey album.
Despite the expanse of sound, the band infuses controlled energy, with Jon Philpot’s vocals and keyboards.