The Delta Saints | Bones | Rating: 9.5/11 |
Whatever it is that you’ve come to expect from the Delta Saints, be like Frozen and let it go.
No, the Nashville band has not abandoned their jones for gritty blues and howling rock for unfortunate ventures into dub step or selfie pop. But anyone can make a blues/rock record and pretty much anyone has. What the Delta Saints have done is get a little adventurous and loose in the kitchen, cooking up a batch of sizzle and swirl, tempests in deep and moody teacups, all while dishing out tasty bits of funk and boozy blues rock, laced with soul and rootsy swagger; all of it groove heady, authentic and as strong as bones.
Writing while on the road has obviously served the five-piece outfit well as the title track rolls deep in African trance music and chilled-out organ chords as singer Ben Ringel lobs a cautionary “Be the wind, not the willow / And rattle them bones.” It’s that yen to wander a few steps outside of any imaginary lines that makes Bones run deeper, feel fuller. Whether it’s the skittering funk of “Heavy Hammer,” the back-water and sinister echo of “Dust” where Ringel cuts his vocals cords loose, the soul-saving, Country/gospel flair and acoustic guitar play in “My Love” or the sparse, eerie story telling of “Butte La Rose,” the Delta Saints have banged out a sophomore record that fleshes out their dead to rights grasp for melding their love of traditional and present day music into a hot mess of primitive urges (hello “Soft Spoken”), emotional dread, hard hits, flashes of heat and inspired cool. I particularly direct that “inspired cool” bit at the album’s closer, “Berlin,” and the classy, experimental prog-rock sheen of it all that spirals out but never out of control. Well played, Delta Saints.
Essential Tracks: We’re just gonna skip isolating individual songs in lieu of imploring you with a music lover’s heart to just buy the whole damned album.