Reviews roundup – Muddy Moonshine vs. Charles In The Kitchen vs. Jeff Chaz
Muddy & Wild
Some Southern rock to start and it features Muddy Moonshine who hail from the deep South of, um, Finland.
Fair enough. They started life a couple of years back when Jarmo, Jonne and Tero decided to form an acoustic blues band. But after the arrival of Saku on drums and the legally obligatory lineup changes the band transformed into the Southern rockers whose full length debut this is.
It also sees the arrival of a new singer in the shape of Aleksi Ahokas resulting in a very enjoyable romp. Of course it’s not really Southern rock as it was in the heydays of the seventies as it spends most of its time in rootsy Americana land. However, when they remember that they’re supposed to be Southern rockers it really takes off.
AN EP of “Drunk as Fuck”, “Bottle of Love” and “Moonshineman” would have made this essential listening rather than a part-time pleasure but there’s still a lot to enjoy even if a point is deducted for using one of my selfies on the cover without asking (or paying!).
CHARLES IN THE KITCHEN
Slice, Cook, Taste & Thrill
When I heard their last, self-titled, album I reckoned Charles In The Kitchen were “slightly scuzzy mainstream rock with a hint of punk thing”. They claim to be “kitchen power rock’n’roll from Switzerland”. I have no idea what that means so will stick with my billing.
A former covers band, David, Fabien, Michel, Maël, and Gino are certainly good musicians and if that whole punk tinged indie but with a pop melody thing floats your boat then this could be the record for you.
They do seem to have thrown in some more classic references this time around which makes me warm more to this than I did the last one with songs like “Give Me A Chance” showing a big improvement. But there still plenty of tunes to please fans of their earlier stuff with “The Spleen Controversy” and “Fake Punks Know How To Cheat” following their personal template to the T.
This Silence Is Killing Me
Jeff Chaz likes to keep busy with a hectic touring schedule an a new studio album coming out just about every year. But he never lacks in quality.
And this one is no exception and it hits you straight from the off with the great opening shuffle “Savin’ Everything For You.” Not only is it a memorable tune but he takes the opportunity to let fly on the guitar, just in case you’d forgotten what a formidable fretmeister he is.
And the quality never drops as he continues through eleven original songs any of which are worth hearing. His voice has a lived in quality which may put some off but it’s worth sticking with as a few tunes in and you’ll be caught up in his world. There are some excellent arrangements with the brass enhanced “I Ain’t Nothin’ Nice” a personal favourite. For obviosu reasons.
Pound for pound you’ll be hard pushed to find a better set of blues originals doing the rounds. Highly recommended.