|My introduction to Toledo, Ohio's blues rock merchants Five Horse Johnson happened a couple of years ago, when they were touring with Halfway to Gone. I don't know if it was the smoke haze or the drinks, but they sounded damn fine. I mean, one might easily see blues rock as played out decades ago, but the Johnsons bring their own unique take on the subject to the table, and man, is it ever tasty!|
Well, after seeing them that night I stumbled to the merch table to procure my copies of 'Fat Black Pussy Cat' and 'No. 6 Dance'. They were fine platters and all, but the Five Horse' live attack put 'em to shame as far as energy went. Good thing their approach to the blues was so worthwhile, 'cause it brought me back to them after the Live Effect wore off.
After all this, I was kind of doubtful about their new one. This is their fifth album after all, and anyone might reasonably expect that they'd be past their prime. I'm here to give you an emphatic "NO" on that score. Dashing all expectations, Five Horse Johnson seem to be just hitting their stride, at least as far as I'm concerned. There's more guitar and less harmonica on this one: more 'Sabbath and less Robert Johnson, as it were. Which is not to say they're leaving their blues roots behind, nossir. What they've done is hone their patented mix of blues with their collective metal background, combine it with some classic rock, and add in some LSD. Or at least some pot. Its heavy as hell and groovy as fuck. And am I alone in hearing some Captain Beefheart in there? Either pre-'Strictly Personal' or post-'Lick My Decals Off, Baby'. In other words, Bluesy Beef.
Dig: Small Stone's jumped feet-first into the fray, and they've emerged with proud tunes and bloody knuckles. Lovers of ZZ Top, Beefheart, Halfman, or Raging Slab rejoice: Five Horse Johnson is among you again.
1. Cry Rain
2. Cherry Red
3. Soul Digger
4. Three At A Time
5. Blood Don't Pay
6. Love 2 Lose
8. B.C. Approved
10. Yer Mountain
Duration : Approx. 45 minutes
Visit the Five Horse Johnson bandpage.