Not normally being a big blues guy, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was handed the new album from SweetKiss Momma. Reviews had brought up comparisons to bands that I’m actually fairly luke warm on. (Molly Hatchet and The Allman Brothers are not exactly in my top 10…and I’m so burnt out on Skynyrd I could scream) That’s why I found it to be such a breath of fresh air to actually listen to “A Reckoning Is Coming” and be blissfully reminded of two very different classic blues rock bands that I actually really love, and (like SweetKiss Momma) really don’t get the attention they deserve. Because you see, while I was stomping my feet and generally grooving out to the opening track “Fix My Hair”, I was not hearing any of the classic rock radio friendly fodder…what I was hearing was scorching, dirty, funky stylings that seemed like a marriage of Leslie West’s Mountain, and Lowell George’s Little Feat.
Like Leslie West, Jeff Hamel’s deep, gravely vocals are so suited to the heart-wrenching blues style that it just feels like he’s lived and breathed every word he speaks. The guitar work on this album will have any Lowell George fan doing a double take, and the rhythm section keeps things rolling like thunder in a swampy summer heat wave.
The flow of the album works as well. The stomp feel of the opening track melds perfectly into the title track followed by the lead-off single “Breathe Rebel”, before slowing things down with the brief but extremely powerful “Same Old Stories”. The anthems continue with a naughty wink on “Get Some Love” and the fantastic sing-along track “For the Last Time”. But it’s the way the album closes that sold me. The band truly saved the best for last by saving the more introspective instrumental “Laura Rose” for later in the album, and then having it head straight into the mini-epic (and destined to be crowd favorite) “Dirty Uncle Deezer”. The album properly ends on the short and humorous “Birthday Cake” as a sort of smirking soliloquy (do I actually hear a bit of Mr. Bungle influence? On a blues album? BRILLIANT!) but there is also a bonus track in the form of an acoustic version of the aforementioned single “Breathe Rebel”.
SweetKiss Momma is certainly headed for great things. And it just does my heart proud to know that local blues has managed to hit that dirty groove that keeps us stomping back for more, without pandering to the masses.
SweetKiss Momma is:
Aaron Arnold – Guitar
Jeff Hamel – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jeremy Hamel – Bass
Jimmy Hughs – Drums
Purchase “A Reckoning is Coming” here:
SweetKiss Momma Official Website: