1919 is the title of this debut EP from Outlaws & Moonshine, rockers of the Southern persuasion and what a barnstormer it is. The songs leap out of the speakers and grab you by the throat like some demonic Doberman pincer and don’t let go from the first to the last.
Brothers Beau Van (vocals/guitar) and Chris Van (bass), guitarist/vocalist Mike Back, and drummer Eric Piper make a fantastic musical unit for the EP and I totally enjoyed the heavy grooves of the record. The cover art is tres cool as well with it’s Prohibition-era graphics.
From the off, the band remind you that 2015 can blend (in oak caskets) well with the more mature sounds of the 70’s or 80’s. Lead song “Cootie Brown” starts with rumbling bass and fearsome drums and I love how high in the mix these two instruments are – bring it on guys! The song is an absolute belter and will certainly accompany me in my car as I head out on the highway (or motorway as we say in Wales).
“Whiskey” lulls the listener into a little Rope-a-Dope with it’s acoustic opening, but then spills out into a hook-heavy hitter of slide guitar and sonic masonry. The chorus really does grip you and has been going on repeat play in my head since I heard it. Special mention here for the drums of Eric Piper, which stand out with some great floor tom work and a breakdown that is something else. Piper reminds me of a more complex Phil Rudd (AC/DC) and is a great anchor for the band.
The stomp of “Hey Y’All” continues the party and eats its own hot sauce, bringing a definite ZZ Top feel to proceedings. The song sends me back to 1987 and the debut album from Tangier, a highly underrated band who gave us one great album…Outlaws & Moonshine should eclipse them with their talent and their ear for a great tune.
“Redneck Me” sounds like a more Southern version of Guns n’ Roses from the “Lies” era and the song again is fantastic.
The EP is closed out with “Different Kind of Man“, which made me think of Jake E. Lee‘s first Badlands album with its acoustic guitar and different shades of heaviness.
Outlaws & Moonshine are talented rockers with big hearts and even bigger beats. They exude confidence and grab listeners with a fire that has not been seen for a long time in Rockland. Rock is Dead? I don’t think so…