Handsome Jack: Do What Comes Naturally

HandsomeJack_DoWhatComesNaturallyBlues-soaked rock and soul, heavy on the grooves

Alive Records has long-since reached a critical mass that just seems to attract heavy, blues-soaked guitar rock bands. The label’s gravity has pulled this Buffalo quartet into orbit for a follow-up to their independently released Super Moon. Their new album is heavier on the grooves, with guitar strings thick with twang, deep bass lines, resonant snare drumming and just enough organ (both keyboard and mouth) to step this up from power trio form. The songs burn slowly, with tempos that emphasize power over speed. There are a few guitar solos, but they’re rangy rather than flashy, and what really draws you is the unwavering authority of the rhythms. The album hits a soul stride with “Leave it All Behind” and “Right On, the former sounding as if Arthur Alexander stepped out of the studio just long enough for the band to work up an original, the latter could be Little Feat’s heavier alter ego. Handsome Jack’s music resonates with the atmospheres of rock’s great ballrooms – the Avalon, Fillmore, Winterland, Agora, Grande – and the bands who rocked them. They call their music “boogie soul,” but the boogie gave birth to rock and their souls are plugged into an extension cord that stretches from Buffalo to the Delta. [©2014 Hyperbolium]

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