The Alt-Country boom in the mid-90’s was quite a thing – country as a genre had long been derided as rhinestones and fake smiles, but even before the commercial rebirth of Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, bands had openly embraced the genre and added their own sympathetically subtle embellishments. Acts such as Giant Sand, Wilco and The Handsome Family brought the dust-swept art of story-telling into ultra-cool indie territory, despite (or maybe even because of) their heartfelt love of the simplicity of the music and the lyrics.
Though alt-country (or, if you prefer, Americana) has settled into its niche quietly now, the ethics and sound are appearing in the most unusual places. Perhaps the gold-standard of these is Slim Loris, a band based in Gothenburg, Sweden, who are producing some of the most life-affirming music you can imagine, whilst keeping a firm grip on reality. The first track to be aired from their forthcoming EP, “Wild & Untamed”, is “Burning Elephant”, one of the rockier tracks but still brilliantly melodic and wholly satisfying…
Which brings us to booze. What to pair? Presenting the combining of American and Swedish culture:
If there’s one thing the Brits are good at it’s complaining and making loud music, and who better to prove this point than heavy rock outfit, Anarchy Reigns. Led by the already iconic Hitch, the band have already got an army of fans before they even released a note of music – their social media campaign which throws down the gauntlet for followers to takes photos of minor examples of anarchy (walking near “don’t walk on the grass” signs and the like) has garnered thousands of followers and zillions of shares. Now embarking on stage two of their bid to conquer the world, they release the video to Liars, Liars, a no-nonsense (or possibly all-nonsense) diatribe against politicians. Not specific politicians but the whole lot of em. In for a penny!
Though with an element of humour which has long enjoyed a tradition in British rock music, the musicianship is top drawer with proper, honest to God riffs and drum pummeling. With a call to arms which is already selling merchandise to their army of fans (hand grenade stress-relievers, anyone?), another single and an album are just around the corner. Join up or look daft.
So, what brew to select to go along with your Anarchy Reigns listening experience? Well, we were sorely tempted to go for copious pints of Trooper, in honour of the mighty Maiden, but it would surely be wrong not to swig back some JD whilst flicking the horns?
The NaveBlues are a new blues rock band hailing from Norwegian, however their strand of Blues Rock instantly conjures the image of a US bar in Tennessee (clue no.1)
Their new EP is something to behold. Searing harmonica tones fit for all the great blues players coupled with rocky outbursts. They feel as though you should be sat in a little ark bar drinking whisky (clue no.2) with a toothpick hanging out of your mouth, watching head Naver; Nave Pundik play the s*** out his harmonica while you nod in approval.
I feel the track from their new EP which captures this image best is The Ghost Collector, 4 minutes of pure jamming; guitar and harmonica melting faces all over it! Its like hearing Joe Bonamassa shred a Harmonica. It ROCKS man, I want to see them live.
NOW what drink would represent this bluesy, rocky harmonica, guitar greatness. It has a great rocky energy, but it harks back to old blues classics, and when blues is done like this, it’s aged well… Its an old classic but it feels fresh, timeless. Got to be a bottle of extra strong aged Jack.