Steeltown soul

I'm not familiar with these boys, but by all accounts they've picked up a fair amount of blister to their sound. What was once an alt-country, honest-to-gawd rhythm and blues outfit now honors those sounds even as it throttles them.

Chet Vincent and the Big Bend
Sort of the opposite journey of the Delta 72, a fairly traditional pile-driving Touch and Go band in the late 90s whose third album, 000, remains of most raucous r&b albums ever. Vincent and Co. also lay in plenty of psychedelia and distortion to fine effect.

Apart from Vincent's inimitable vocals (high and a bit reedy), there isn't really a unifying thread to the songs here. The band rolls through a variety of styles, never forgetting the groove but generally laying waste to just about everything else.

And just when I think I might be settling in, the band throws another curve. The writing is stellar, and the playing is energetic. These Pittsburgh boys sound like they don't really want to commit to any one set of ideas. Here's to hoping they never do.

Jon Worley

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