What does it sound like?:
What does it sound like? Absobloodylutely stupendous, believe the hype. Really. There really is a reason why just about every critic in just about every sphere is saying this. Ok, so some of it is because it is so very very long since hopes lay undashed, but if ever a prodigal came good, this is it, kill the fattest calf in the land. Forget best since Some Girls, best since Stripped, this is the best since the 1964 EP The Pretty Things, which, apart from not being by them, gives the best idea of the sound they’re coming from. And, yes, stuff the pundits saying this needed Mick Taylor in, or even Brian, it’s Dick, with a D, Taylor that I would like to hear, back with the band he nearly joined. And Stu would have been good.
Hopefully you are getting the feel this is no polished late 60s Blue Horizon fare, Mike Vernon would not have touched this garage band with a bargepole. This is the blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, even if the songs aren’t, rough and ready, raw and vibrant, grown men polishing their, um, brooms.
Basic even, meat and potatoes, but by that I mean a porterhouse with triple cooked fat chips, fat as Keef’s fingers, none of your chateaubriand and thin fries. The defining motifs are Jaggers harp, always their best kept secret, the first song, a minute in, shooting into orbit with an exquisite flurry of notes. Reader, I was hooked. At other moments we get the reminder that Ronnie actually was thought a good player once, on slide: think some of his stuff on the otherwise iffy Faces live, Overtures and Beginners, the interplay with Keef coming on like Duane and Dickey at the wrong speed. In a good way. And the 2 songs with Clapton actually do need him, and are enlivened by his remembering why he was slow hand, even if that wasn’t why. Charlie? Utterly bonkers drums, played on saucepans and teapots. I can imagine him grinning gloriously, thinking what’s this shit to himself, and getting carried away. Yes, it plods a bit as you get into the 3rd quarter, but only by compare with the earlier songs, Jagger singing like a 70 year old white man, in Little Red Rooster mode, actually much as he did then. (And I have that on the authority of the brothers.) Keyboards are largely down in the mix, Chuck Leavell barely registering, a Matt Clifford adding barroom piano which is what reminded me of Stu. I think he’d have been proud of his band.
What does it all *mean*?
Suddenly they are credible? Until the backlash anyway.
Goes well with…
2016, an uplift to end this grimly reaped year.
Might suit people who like…
Happy endings. Stupid pictures that are nothing about the piece for fear the Rolling Sones will sue the Afterword for a positive promotional piece…..