10 February 2010
reviewer: Music-News.com Newsdesk
Jason & The Scorchers have been around for nearly 30 years and they have made some of the most stirring countryNEWtinged music in that career of any of their contemporaries. But they have been quiet since 1996 and this is their first album of original material since then. Think a moment – since their last album we have seen the millennium, boom and crash, the rise of R&B and Indie and yet this material is as up to date and uplifting as anything coming out of America in the last couple of years – in a word 'Stonking’.
The back-story to this album is almost as good as the music with the band being offered a deal to record using free studio time if 'folks’ could be allowed in to view the sessions – this was at the Americana Music Association awards do where the band were receiving an award for Lifetime Achievement and allowed the band the opportunity to get back together. With help from their friends – Dan Baird, Ginger (Wildhearts) and others – they have put together this album and turned out an absolute cracker.
The band have put a set together full of changes. At one moment a rip-roaring piece of speed-country – 'Moonshine Guy’ – or a bluegrass-tinged heart and soul rocker like 'Beat On The Mountain’. When they rock they kick some serious ass but there is always a touch of country around the corner to put a smile on your face.
There are some really great moments on this album and very few weak ones but 'Mother Of Greed’ has to be held up as one of the best numbers that JATS have ever recorded and the huge landscape of 'Land Of The Free’ has to become a live monster in future times. The strut and swagger of 'Deep Holy Water’ is great fun and 'Twangtown Blues’ is a dark piece of genius.
There are 14 tracks here and most of them are the equal of anything coming out under the Americana tag while two or three are just exceptional – almost worth waiting 14 years for!