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





If like me you love a healthy dose of Black Crowes but are worried about their impending hiatus (and kind of thought they went a little too countrified on that last one) then don’t worry too much because there are still plenty of bands out their making some fine music of that ilk. The new ‘Drive By Truckers’ album ‘The Big To Do’ is amazing, as was the last slab from Gov’t Mule and there’s plenty more out there whether you slant is East-coast, West coast, Midwest or Southern. American rock is headed back to the heartlands and there’s plenty out there following.


So imagine a jam band then with plenty of jam but none of the noodling. An honest, fresh and very guitar-driven take on the kind of good old honest Rock N Roll that has been around for years. An album with a southern-edge, some real grit, and sweat, and heart and soul…


Well that’s what the Worry Beads are out to give you here.


While Mark Knight and Mark Tremalgia may still be better known by most as guitarists in Bang Tango (Tremalgia joined when Kyle Stevens left the band) they have been at this for a while now. Worry Beads grew out of their band Gravy and formed back in 2003 and this is their fourth and best release to date.


Opener ‘Blame It On Me’ let’s you know we are still in the business of rocking but that the Strip has been left far behind and out here on the highway it’s the Allmans that rule the roost.  It’s a cool song, simple and driven by a relentless beat, it’s a great song, but it’s not the best on here. Personally I love the sway of ‘Front Light’ which just transports you when you close your eyes.


Playing the album to friends ‘White Cloud’ seemed to hit all the spots, it’s a lighter song with a light acoustic intro: there’s a cool Stonesy vibe to the number and at times Mark even sounds a little like Jagger in his phrasing.  It’s definitely a highlight. But there’s more: title track ‘Iron Spittin’ Horse’ is magnificent, it sounds like a song you must have heard back in the seventies, the sort of song people just don’t write anymore, all dusty roads and cowboy cool. ‘The Thing About It Is’ the track Knight co-wrote with Tremalgia lays down a nice ‘band on the road story’ and is just a plain funky-assed, gravel-voiced groove.


For me though it’s the rockier ‘Burnin’ It Slow’ almost that steals the show with its great chorus, driving verses, Crowes-like breakdown and heavier, darker edge.  ‘Up on the Mountain’ comes close too and really rocks out with some beautiful guitar and organ propelling the song to a false climax before the organ kicks in again and the guitar burns.  We end with the blues of ‘Quickstart’; the cool laid back wandering bass-line of ‘Passin’ You By’ and the funk of ‘Comin’ Back For More’.


It’s a great album made with care and attention to detail. You can tell that this is where Mark’s heart is and who can blame him when it sounds this good.  To be honest I really didn’t expect this at all.