Considering that this was spawned from Metric, one of my all time favourite bands, Left Lane Cruiser couldn't have been further from the starting point in a lot of ways. But all in all, my first impressions of Left Lane Cruiser are that its foot stomping, head shaking, face pulling, air-guitar jamming, grin provoking, rocktacularly HOT! Finally! A new listen that seems to have been worthwhile.
From the first lick of dirty slide guitar at the beginning of this album, I couldn't stop myself from smiling. This is the sort of volatile bluesy rock that has always set my soul alight with the fire of a thousand teenage moshpits. Reminiscent of a Seasick Steve brand of blues, the rawness of each furious guitar riff lifts this a step above and beyond into an almost rockabilly realm, with an gruff, animal set of vocals that could put up a decent challenge to any of its peers.
Close your eyes for a moment, and it's easy to believe that you're sat on a dirty stool in some deep south bar, sipping on a strong whiskey and tapping your boot against the chair in time to any one of these songs. Watching a packed dance floor full of lithe bodied women in cut up t-shirts and booty shorts, swaying their hips and tipping their worn, oversized cowboy hats at the occasional handsome gent to look their way as they walk by. Wow, I think I just got sucked into a bit of a Black Snake Moan fantasy world there, do excuse me. Where was I? Ah right, less about the imaginary barely clothed hotties, more about the awesome blues-rock. On it.
Banjos and washboards and slide guitar, oh my! From the almost traditional sounding and aptly named "Ol' Fashioned" with a glorious range of instruments that sound as though they were collected from someone's house and then played right out on the back porch. To the hazy, more laid back feel of tracks like "Hard Workin Man" and "Putain!" with restrained yet powerful riffs and commanding beats that suck you in and melt away anything but the urge to close your eyes and sup down an ice cold beer. In particular, I find myself taken by the dark, atmospheric wailing of "Black Lung", with the typical raw, hard, power that the main body of this album seems to deliver, but with an added pinch of dirt! This is the sort of music that you'll be doing a disservice if your speakers aren't cranked up to the max. But favourites aside, it really does surprise me that this is, from what Wikipedia tells me, a mere duo of musicians. The rich sounds of their instruments gives it a feel of much more depth than I would have expected from a two man band, and wonderfully so. There is a warmth, a dirty, home-cooked warmth, to every single track I have listened to so far. I remain as compelled a the end of this album' play time as I was at the beginning. A definite win.
Conjuring up imagery of southern bars, cross-country road trips with the desert sun beating down on your back and fantasy festival scenarios. With an almost hopeful twang to even the most brutal of each new chord, this is music that moves; music that takes you somewhere. Music I shall definitely be listening to more of.