(Courtesy of New Wave Music)
But if you enjoy both full-bodied beers (This critic does.) and loud, dirty blues rock (Sign me up, please.), you might just find some similarities in the two. Much like a good porter, the sounds laid down by this band are thick, full of flavor and don't always go down easy. In the end, though, the experience is filling and satisfying.
Primary Wave Music released the band's self-titled album, its first full-length release, on June 29. The album's 12 tracks offer some of the most promising straight-ahead rock 'n' roll a listener can hope to find from a young band.
There's no reinventing the wheel here. This is aggressive blues rock at high volume. It's a formula that's been working for years. It feels like you've heard this music before, but you don't really care if you have a pulse. You're too busy tapping your toes and shaking your hips.
The album kicks off with "Whatever Haunts You," which opens with about 30 seconds of guitar noodling before Andy Brewer's vocals kick in. From there, we get strong, loud performances out of all four members, from the rhythm section of brothers Doug and Kevin Jones on drums and bass, respectively, and the twin guitar attack of Joe Selby and Brewer.
The assault on the eardrums doesn't stop, as the tempo stays up with "Big Enough" and "Shake Me," before slowing only slightly for "Gotta Get You Back." The energy doesn't go anywhere, though.
When the tempo finally drops for "Long Slow Drag," Brewer shows off his ability with slower, soulful numbers as well as the rockers.
The remainder of the album follows a similar formula, with a number of quality, high-energy numbers ("I Gotta Love," "Mean Bitch" and "Railroad Queen") mixed with a couple of slowed down tracks ("Bringing Me Down" and "In the Morning").
The boys in the band carry on a classic rock tradition with the finale "King Louie," saving one of the strongest tracks, and easily the longest, for the end. It's nearly six minutes of unadulterated rock that puts the band's music on full display.
My spin: B-
"Taddy Porter" is a strong debut album. The band uses a tried-and-true formula for making a fine rock album, with just enough elements of modern rock not to sound passť.
They possess the kind of ability with the two-guitar-bass-and-drum format every Friday night cover band strives for, but few achieve. The difference is, these guys do it on their own songs. The four members share writing credits on all 12 songs, with contributions from a couple of co-writers, including producer Skidd Mills on five tracks.
The album is exciting not only for what it includes, but for the new band it introduces. As these guys grow as a band and songwriters, things should only get better.
Released: June 29 on Primary Wave Music
Taddy Porter is: Andy Brewer-vocals, guitar; Joe Selby-lead guitar; Kevin Jones-drums; Doug Jones-bass
Producer: Skidd Mills