Thursday, January 28, 2016

Album Review: "Victory Motel Sessions" by King Mud

Victory Motel Sessions
An old friend of mine told me about another circle of friends that he was a part of, at least tangentially speaking.

If I recall correctly, there was a girl in that circle of friends who interested me greatly.

Isn't that always the way?

Of course, it was in another part of St. Louis and here, if you're 15 miles outside of the city limits, you're basically in a very different world.

What I was told by my friend however, is what gave me pause.

This circle of friends had known each other from kindergarten, but more than that, they had been swapping partners among themselves for as long as they had been dating. How in the world was I supposed to walk into that setup?

Freddy J IV and Van Campbell (late of the Black Diamond Heavies)
Let's take a look at the newest record from Alive-Natural Sound, the home of dirty blues, punk, and whatever else they deem interesting.

They are certainly among my favorite labels because their artists are always loose and there is a "natural sound" on all the LPs.

So, continuing the tradition of swapping partners, here we have Freddy J IV from Left Lane Cruiser and Van Campbell formerly of the Black Diamond Heavies.

I have several albums from both of these men, but it had never occurred to me that they might record together, but that's just what Victory Motel Sessions is.

J IV is the same guy he's been for years, although he does seem to have added another theme to his lyrics. His guitar work is unmistakable. If I hadn't seen him live, I'd be asking what sort of effects he's using on to get this sound, but I've seen him. He only uses a Boss Tuner pedal.

It's been quite some time since we've heard from Campbell. His last release with the Black Diamond Heavies was 2009's Alive As Fuck. He's a fun drummer with some great flair.

Freddie gets an assist on guitar from Parker Griggs on a few tracks on this album, but don't expect some Radio Moscow wah drenched riffing, because it's not there, but his influence is palpable.

Freddy's guitar work is maturing at an alarming rate, as is his songwriting. This may be his best album yet.

King Mud was recorded in a short time by two (three) guys who know how to work fast and work well. It's a loose rocking, bluesy, thing.

Release: 2/5/16
Genre: Rock
Label: Alive Natural Sound

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