Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
My word, my word. This is a conglomeration of everything that was good about 70s rock, thrown in with a little country and some punk rock attitude. Take Kiss, Cheap Trick, Rush, and Skynyrd and mix ’em all up good and throw in some Replacements and you get the idea. These guys are tight and loose all at once. They have tremendous chemistry, yet they don’t seem to be too interested in playing the same song the same way twice. Let me tell you what I know about Bohannons:
“The Bohannons are a bit of a Tennessee institution, but the central tenet of their music is their unwavering commitment to making challenging records. Marty and Matt Bohannon have been at it for a while, but have experienced a bit of a renaissance as of late. Known locally for hosting national and international artists in their hometown of Chattanooga, a mid-size post-industrial southern city with a burgeoning arts scene.
The land and the population are indicative of the material generated by the band. They play regularly with regional bands Lucero, The Alabama Shakes, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Patterson Hood, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, the Features, The Water Liars and Jason Isbell. The Bohannons have been creating musical narratives informed by personal experience, blending classic and modern influences, since the early 90s when brothers Matt and Marty Bohannon made their first recording onto a four-track cassette tape in a duplex garage at their parents’ home. Their soundscapes emanate country, blues and folk standards fused together with rock, punk and power pop structures. Roky Erikson, Crazy Horse, Hellacopters, Frank Black and The Band are often mentioned in describing The Bohannons sound. “
I am listening to Smoke And Ashes (Track 4) right now and I cannot believe my ears. This song has perennial rock classic written all over it. If this song was written and recorded at any time when there was a legitimate music industry, this song would have been a hit similar in stature to Welcome To The Jungle by Guns ‘N’ Roses. You read me right, I think this song has serious longevity. it’s hard, yet soft in all the right places. I can think of no rivals to this song.
When we talk about longevity, let’s also discuss 2000 Nuthin’ (Track 5). Another song with “best of list” potential. This tune starts off like a Yardbirds or Animals song with the heavy psychedelic sound. What makes this song spectacular is the backing vocals that are world class. “I’m on the run” is the line in the chorus that gets repeated, and I wish it was repeated another 20 times. Words really cannot depict how good these backing vocals and harmonies are. You need to give it a listen yourself. I know you will not be sorry.
Then there is the 70s rock standout Run The Roads (Track 1). This is pure 1977 blues infused rock and it is done with perfection. This one alone contains notes of Kiss, Cheap Trick, and Rush. It was time for a 40 year revival of this style of rock and roll. Bohannons nail it like drywall to a stud. There is nothing left to be done after Bohannons are finished with it. The work of true music craftsmen.
If there is any justice left in the world, this album will be a smash hit. I am an optimist and I am rooting hard for Bohannons. They definitely have all the necessary factors to excel in the biz. If there is any justice or equitable balance left, Bohannons will be at the top of the charts. If not, we may be doomed anyway. I don’t want to think that way, I am an optimist, after all.