Lord Nelson drops LP
Melding a swift pace inspired by Tom Petty with a nod to the Britpop guitars of Oasis, Lord Nelson reigns supreme over heartland rock on their new album, Through the Night. Guided by only those trippy guitars, the soulful rock quintet takes us on a journey through heartache, loss, self-discovery and every seedy saloon in between. For a band that’s yet to see any live dates on the west coast, Lord Nelson grabs the Bakersfield sound and drags it though the muddy south that inspired it. Through the Night isn’t a feel good country record – it’s a series of songs that make listeners and the band atone for common sins together, without paying much mind to the so-called “rules” of rock n’ roll.
Rock fans craving a throwback to southern riffage of yesteryear will not be disappointed here. After touring with bands like American Aquarium and Sons of Bill, these guys have taken the bluesy bar band out of the bar and brought that sound to primetime. Look no further than deep tracks like “Fingertips,” where the crude drawl of horns give way to a funky beat that makes any redblooded human crave the physical affection of another. In the night, a southern sway seems to guide us to a tavern where anticipation, like the guitars of the house band, only seems to build until we give in to risky decisions. Through the Night does just what it implies; it guides us through the black, dark unknown that comes with those risky moments that makeup life on the road. “Southern Discomfort” or “Safety Meeting” take us all the way to the edge, only to be given refuge on tracks like the closing “Running on Back,” which on it’s own could soundtrack any introspective afternoon in the countryside.
Listeners can’t help but be keen on Lord Nelson’s reputation as musician’s musicians upon hearing this latest release from the band. After waiting in immense anticipation for a follow up to the band’s debut The Country several years ago, fans hoping for a record in full stereo sound, complete with all the studio bells and whistles, will be beyond satisfied with this album. The Jones brothers (the group’s driving instrumental duo) paint vivid pictures of the American landscape for vocalist Kai Crowe-Getty to spill his heart and soul upon. The pastoral backdrop makes the emotion found on this record all the more tangible, forcing anyone within earshot of it’s echo to consider their own life and actions.
With this album, it’s easy to see why Lord Nelson are developing the buzz that they have on the east coast. Reasonably, there’s something for everyone here; deep ballads, psychedelic-tinged slide guitar, R&B grooves, country values and soul found on every track, from the heartfelt cries of “Call Me” to the self-aware strut of “When the Lights Come Down.” There are plenty of times when this album bleeds the kind of polish you would think could only be found in a Nashville or L.A.-branded recording, but at it’s core there is no room for debate: Through the Night is a country album searching for it’s rock n’ roll soul, and we get to experience it’s evolution.