Saturday, March 15, 2014

Whiskey N’ Rye Presents A Perfect Balance of Blues and Rock on Their Self Titled Release

I admit, I’m not the biggest blues fan, but when it’s done right, it’s amazing. I’ve heard a lot of bad blues acts in my life, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the latest release from Whiskey N’ Rye, and then the first track hit. “Bootlegger” is the first song off of this record and it stunned me, it was like a jolt to my jaded system. Every element is in place to mold blues, rock, alternative, and roots sounds into one melodic song. The structure is very much what you’d expect coming out of the late 90s alternative rock explosion. The same spirit that made Hootie and the Blow Fish, Blues Traveler, and Counting Crows famous is found here. This is not to say that the band sounds like those acts, because they don’t, they tap into their own sound, and it’s evident from the first tracks power to the second track’s catchy chorus.

The guys in this band know how to play well and you never feel that you’re listening to an independent release, you’re listening to something more. It’s this type of power in the structure that is compelling about the record. You’ll have a hard time not tapping your feet as the album progresses through transitional stages of heavy blues explosion, and rock sensibility, without losing that pop sound at times. The vocals are done clean, and when the harmonica hits, it’s not just another layer it becomes its own personal element, which is hard to do.

Stand out tracks on this release include the aforementioned songs, and “All I Ask”, “The Open Road”, “Before the Cock Crows” and “Seattle Drinking Song”, but all the tracks flow together quite well. I’m always impressed by the bands that can tie things together in a fluid motion. You never feel like skipping a song, because you most certainly have a bigger picture to enjoy. That’s how powerful Whiskey N’ Rye’s delivery is, it makes you want to set aside 30 some odd minutes to just sit back and enjoy the themes of classic American influenced music.

The sum of the parts work well, and if you were to take away one element, you would still have a strong alternative record, but when you tie in all the pieces, you get something outstanding, and that’s what makes this a must have. If you see their names on the marquee, you better get a ticket, because this will most likely translate well into a live performance. You can take a listen to their release by checking out their soundcloud page here, and hear what I’ve heard, an incredible take on a mixture of genres that works very well. I like it, you’ll like it, so listen up.

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