What does it sound like?:
Jared James Nichols certainly looks like an axe shredder; big muscles, tattoos, long, glistening locks and a grimace suggesting extreme constipation. He sounds good at it, too. He’s so brave, he plays his Les Paul, called Old Glory, without a pick! He also sings (he has a very fine shriek and a guttural bottom end) and writes all the songs with a mate. His band is a power trio, called Jared James Nichols. One might begin to think that Black Magic is all about him but Erik Sandin plays bass and Dennis Holm drums. Jessica Childress contributes backing vocals to some tracks.
The noise they make is hard rock, bordering on the heavy. They attack all ten songs with gusto, thunderous drums, room shaking bass and howling guitar and vocal. After a few minutes, they are on to the next one, then the next, without a pause for breath. There are some variations in rhythm, notably a swampy one (What Love) and a funky one (Honey Forgive Me) but, otherwise it’s riff after riff, solo after solo, shriek after shriek. It’s exhausting. It isn’t long before the listener yearns for a melody or a half-decent chorus. As a result, most of this album feels incomplete, all over in thirty minutes.
When everything falls into place, it’s great. The opener, Last Chance, has a touch of Black Night about it, Don’t Be Scared is mean and moody and Got To Have You zings.
Black Magic is a very powerful album, raw and straight to the point, delivered with consummate skill. Mr Nichols won’t be the least bit concerned that it lacks nuance.
What does it all *mean*?
1970s Rock music lives on.
Goes well with…
Slim hips, bare chest, legs apart, full-on headbanging and air guitar.
Might suit people who like…
Early Deep Purple or Cream, maybe.