FIVE HORSE JOHNSON (The Last Men On Earth) LP/CD
I remember this southern-drenched outfit from their first two boogie-riffrock-infected albums, released by the fine Detroit-based label Small Stone Records. Now we write the year 2003, here this is the fifth full-length, and the band is still on Small Stone, and again Mark Dancey (Big Chief) had doing the fine cover-artwork, as for the previous ones. But they have developed their powerful style, and it sounds more matured and effective. Their's still the boogie-infected madness with the powerhouse vocals of Eric Oblander. In opposite to other southern blues influenced bands (in this case FHJ are more ZZ Top than Lynyrd Skynyrd), there's interwoven a stronger 60's garage blues vibe. Here are tracks included, that could've been from old masters like Howlin' Wolf or John Lee Hooker, played in a heavier and more electrifying way.
Just listen to the opener "Cry Rain", with slide-guitars, which belongs to one of the strongest songs of the entire album. The opening riff of "Three At A Time" is a rip-off from COC's "Albatros", but done in a convincing way. Although Mark Dancey isn't involved into the band, a track like the funky "Blood Don't Pay" or "Sweetwater" could have been on one of the later Big Chiefs album. "Love 2 Lose" is a good time mid-tempo R 'n' Roller, and that's what FIVE HORSE JOHNSON are about. I won't deny that this band is a loud and spectacular live band, but not every here included track is one the same entertaining level. But here's still enough hard rockin' material included for all the hellraisers and beerdrinkers, and if you're looking for a solid and authentic heavy blues rock album, than check this one out.