When you’re a hard rock band and send me an EP with a title like Rollin’ Stoned and Livin’ Free and are called Them Evils, you can bet I’m going to listen. Even though I’ve never heard of them before, sometimes you just know it’s going to be good.
Fuzzy, heavy and groovy in equal measure, there’s enough reverence paid to the hard rock stars of the 70s whilst keeping their sound modern. You’re going to hear Bon-era AC/DC and Toys in the Attic-era Aerosmith with the swagger to match the pair of them. Chunky riffs from Jordan Griffin are married with Jake Massanari’s filthy bass lines. Opener “Got Me Rockin’” sets out to do what it says on the tin. And if you don’t have your foot tapping by the end, you’re dead.
Elsewhere, “She Got Nothin’” (they really don’t believe in the letter g at the end of words, do they?) is loaded with fuzz to make something delightfully grimy and is revisited with “Untold”. Their bluesiest number, this is one you can stomp your feet to and whilst it packs a punch and would make for an excellent closer, it’s pipped to the finish by “Practice What You Preach”. Featuring the best drum work on the EP, David Delaney II marries finesse with restraint as the guitar work takes a back seat.
It’s straightforward rock like this that proves less is more – from the start, you can tell this is a three-piece. There’s that rawness and power to it that belongs only to trios. Eschewing the idea of ballads, this is a collection of songs to keep you moving. It could probably afford to be a song shorter but when the quality is this high, you’re not going to quibble too much. Whilst the UK may be an absolute hotbed for classic-sounding young bands right now, it doesn’t mean the US can’t throw down with the best of them.
Rollin’ Stoned and Livin’ Free is out now