The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
www.therockpit.net Anthrax-Worship-Music-CD-Review

SMOKEY FINGERS


COLUMBUS WAY


TANZAN MUSIC

RELEASED September 2011

 

 

I had to listen to this so many times just to make sure. I knew nothing about this band when I first saw this release but their press intrigued me, it sounded something special and thankfully this time the music in the grooves backs up the buzz.

 

It didn’t start off like that though, the first listen when I was somewhat distracted this sounded just like a very good and capable slab of blues-infused rock and roll. After a few proper listens and a few weeks playing in the car I hear so much more.

 

There’s a lot of echoes of the seventies blues rock greats here, a lot of sounds that seem like they could have been crafted in that decade that brought us so much classic rock, but I’m also put in mind in places of later bands that walked the walk like the sorely missed Badlands for example.

 

Musically this is tight, and the production has that layer of grime about it that screams authenticity. There are sweeping tortured guitars, a palate of great hooks and blues-infused riffs and the vocals at points sweep you away. But highest in the mixing pot is the smell of Southern US rock at it’s best – definitely the charm and strength of Skynyrd, Blackfoot and Hatchet but equally the delicacy and melody of the Allmans too.  This could have so easily sounded like a pastiche, were it not for the conviction of the band and the undoubted strength of the songs. As for Gianluka’s vocals, well they just ‘smell’ right.  Not many bands really nail the spirit of the music they love, but these guys nail it in spades and given the band-members history – two from a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band and two from a band called ‘Dixie Line’ you can tell the musicians involved have really ;lived’ this music for a while.

 

For me the hardest thing here is to pick a favourite – I can happily play the CD end-to-end without skipping through songs but if my hand was forced you could do worse than checking out: ‘Chains of Mind’ that really has a feel of one of my 80’s favourites Little Caesar to it (In fact Gianluka isn’t a million miles away from the golden tones of Ron Young). 

 

Really, though, you could make a case for any song, opener ‘Old Jack’ is a straight forward rocker with a lot of charm; the gloriously un-PC ‘The Lover’ sounds like great undiscovered Molly Hatchet.  The band comes into its own though with songs like ‘Born To Run’ which takes us on a real ride so authentic that you swear it comes from another age.

 

Deep-fried southern anthem ‘Ride of Love’ is again as close as you can get to the real spirit of the greats in this genre, this time a slower number of real quality and beauty: one of the best here for me.

 

There’s some lovely slide on ‘Over The Line’; great rockers like ‘Crazy Woman’ and songs that just have the timeless quality like ‘The Good Countryside’. They pull off a great ballad too in ‘Sweet Tears’. You’ll find something new every time you spin this one.   

 

I’ll take a big step out there with this one. I don’t think I’ve heard a better Southern Rock album in years and this one hails from Italy. It’s a rare find and another great release from Italy’s Tanzan Music.    

 

 

 

By Mark Diggins