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







I hear a lot of great albums every year, even more good albums, and amongst them there are a few where you hear signs of something more. It’s very rare you hear an album that just unfolds like this one does, and takes to on a journey through a landscape that is both familiar and beautifully clear, but still has moments of sheer unexpected pleasure amongst those you had already anticipated. Last year I heard one album that made me think I had discovered something very special indeed. This is an album that is in that category.


One Thousand Years is essentially a Blues band and never really reading liner notes before I hear the music I was both surprised and elated that they are from Fremantle. To be honest listening to ‘Grab Your Rabbits Foot and Run’ you would think you are dealing with a veteran Jam band from America’s Midwest and there’s enough of bands like Gov’t Mule and Widespread Panic in their sound to suggest that they are either aficionados of that scene or maybe perhaps a stone-cold freak of nature that has stumbled upon the philosophers stone.


If you love you Blues, by way of bands like Humble Pie with that soulful edge that injects so much more into a song, or appreciate the guitar of players like Rich Robinson from The Black Crowes, you know that clean sound he had on the first couple of albums that was all about space and feel, then you will catch shadows of that here.


What One Thousand Years also have is though is a seeming lack of fear to do something different, and that is where the real magic starts…


Breaking you in softly there’s an almost Allmans-like feel and deftness to opening track ‘Ready For Something’ that fools you into thinking it’s a jam-based boogie without vocals until they reach in approaching the two minute mark. It’s a masterstroke of an opener before the real glory of the ragged riffage of ‘When the Sun Opens Its Eyes’  (the single) pulls you up, there’s a certain Humble Pie meets Black Crowes feel (man that guitar tone is wonderful) and it’s as good a song as we’ll hear this year.


Striking out with such quality you would think there is only one way to go, but you’d be wrong as the band seems to have a spare deck up their collective sleeves.  ‘Voodoo’ might be a more traditional Blues, but it’s got some great harp and the ghost of Hendrix looking down before the more modern feel of ‘Pandora’ takes grip: it’s a song that turns into a blistering jam riding on a wonderful refrain some light air-filled guitar passages that again recall the sound Rich Robinson wrung out of his Zemaitis back in the day.   


‘American (Funk Jam)’seems aptly titled and does what it says on the box – prove that the guys can lay down a real groove and a funky jam. It’s the sort of music no one has the right to write these days, positively stinking of the seventies with some great soulful horn (almost Mother popcorn!) and a real jam band feel, but with an echoed vocal that brings it up to date.  Experimental as it is it makes you wonder what these guys have live! ‘Helsinki Blues’ that follows is rather a counterpoint – lighter and more plaintive like a cold blues from the northern lands. It’s another fantastic song underpinned with piano and swirling organ before breaking out the big riff, and it underlines the breadth and depth of the band’s catalogue and seems to owes as much to Floyd as anyone.


‘Demoness’ is another song that does it differently, more progressive in flavour, full of swirling sounds and  not a million miles away from what you might imagine Zep doing if they were around these days and had a quirky Spinal Tap moment while playing a Floyd cover.  Trust me you’ll love it too…


The album is rounded out just as strongly as it began with the quirkily titled, though rather more traditional good-time Blues of ‘This is How the Zombies Take Control’ it’s like the Black Crowes met Primal Scream at a Stones convention 20 years ago.  ‘Rock & Rollers Delight’ takes things down with a ‘Wild Horses’ like slower number that shows both that the band can write a memorable slow number  and it also underlines the wonderful harmonies these guys produce. It’s heady stuff with an almost Faces-like vibe you wish you could bottle.  


Just to prove they are human, the desperately short ‘Mama Love’ is a straight ahead, foot to the floor blues rocker that is OK but doesn’t seem to take us anywhere. Conversely penultimate track ‘Little Blues Jeans’ is more expansive and showcases all the band’s strengths beautifully letting them roam across the track. Closer ‘Soul Kitchen’ is similar in length, but like the opener is a solid modern Southern-tinged Blues that again has a Stonesy swagger, a Primal Scream horn section and a Black Crowes swagger, and it’s that sound and the quality of the song that really sets these guys apart.  


This one will be playing all year… It's an album that will stay with you. If you don’t believe us then get down to the album launch on February 1st at The Odd Fellow in Fremantle and enjoy.



by Mark Diggins