Sweetkiss Momma - Revival Rock
When you think of music in the state of Washington, Seattle undoubtedly comes to mind. And why shouldn't it with bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains to make the area beyond famous? But if you travel just a little bit south, let's say to Puyallup, you'll find SweetKiss Momma debuting with Revival Rock. A band and album more akin to The Black Crowes than to the aforementioned grunge era acts.
The album title says a lot in those two words. It's more than just a statement. SKM is making a promise to bring something musically to the table that was at one time, and now is no more. So just what kind of rock are they trying to revive, anyway? To tell you the truth, the record does seem to be a bit of a throwback in style, but not in a bad way. They don't sound dated, they sound committed to making organic rock music. Plain and simple. No tricks, no FX; just some guitars, drums, bass, vocals, and the occasional harmonica and trumpet.
To oversimplify their style - and ignore any subtle nuance or depth of musical repertoire - it can be described as southern rootsy rock. Influences of the blues, gospel, and folk all show face. What I love about their sound is the rawness of it all. None of these songs are over-produced. It sounds as if they were just recording some jam sessions, rather than some studio engineers nitpicking every take on a computer screen. You can imagine SKM really rocking your world when playing live.
My favorite number is "Good God Woman". The bass is the star of the show on this song. It's a funky tune with lyrics that I'm sure every man can appreciate, "Good God woman, why don't you make up your mind?" And then we have "To Help a Man" which is a wonderful ballad that I'm so glad showcased the harmonica, stamping the track further with its bluesy vibe.
"Son of the Mountain" starts off hard with electric guitars and harmonica over pounding drums. The energy is relentless for the duration of the track. I would consider "Slow Fade" to be the catchiest of the bunch; from the fun and bluesy melody to the humorous lyrics: "Woke up sick this morning, felt like something was coming along. Turns out it was all just in my head (I slept in anyway), until Oprah came on."
Revival Rock does indeed conjure up a time where rock music was pure and free. Free from commercialism and mass marketing. A time where exceptional musicianship was the norm. SKM debut's with a beautiful collection of very good songs. The only thing I would have liked to hear on this album, is a great song or two. No one particular track really stands out from the rest. It makes for a stylistically and sonically consistent listen, but in my opinion misses the mark of being a classic. But with their lyrical and musical talent, this is still an album worth checking out. Any fan of classic, southern, bluesy, rootsy rock will be at home with SweetKiss Momma.
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