Anyone who doesn't get enough of Grace Potter's Nocturnals‚ live or recorded‚ would do well to investigate Blues & Lasers. But be forewarned: these guys are not a pure pop band but‚ as suggested by their name‚ a contemporary take on rock and roll blues circa 1968.
Make no mistake‚ these guys are not stuck in time‚ but only firmly rooted in a time and space where Muddy Waters' and Elmore James' electrified blues took a quantum leap in style and volume. That said‚ guitarist Scott Tournet and company have honed their sense of dynamics since the recording of their first EP and After All We're Only Human.
Truth be told‚ and to their credit‚ the band loves a riff like the one at the foundation of "Give It A Try" and they benefit from having not just two guitarists--Bennie Yurco is a fine foil for Tournet‚ as evidenced on the cacophonous yet tuneful interplay during "Take You Down"--but two drummers (Matt Burr and Steve Sharon) who can hammer out the massive rhythm. And bassist John Rogone refuses to plod along‚ instead prodding the quintet constantly‚ a dynamic readily apparent thanks to the clean--but not too clean--sound mix forged in Burlington‚ VT's own Tank Studios.
There's no question that‚ in the lead vocals as well as the structure of a cut like "Glory‚" there's more than a little vintage Lynyrd Skynyrd in the sound of Blues & Lasers. But this quintet also knows something about economy and the value of pointed arrangements; Rogone's presence‚ again‚ is crucial when tracks here including "After All" and "Before You Use Me‚" push six and seven minutes respectively‚ but neither go on too long: Blues & Lasers have the right instincts to know how to say their piece‚ vocally and instrumentally‚ then move on.
So the nine cuts are over before you know it and beg to be played right over again‚ If there's anything more infectious than a pop hook‚ it's a well-crafted guitar riff and After All is full of 'em.
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