When I heard the name “Gentlemen and Scholars” I was sort of expecting to hear pretentious avant-garde music someone made on their Mac Pro. ” I was pleasantly surprised that upon listening to Thick As Mud the band has more in common with My Morning Jacket and Lynyrd Skynyrd than a hipster who composes all of his music on a computer. Gentlemen and Scholars is from Evansville, IN and is made up of five gentlemen Jeremiah Galey (vocals), Patrick Brady (guitar, keys), Adam Noblett (lead guitarist) Shane Strickland (bassist) and Kyle Burchett (drums).
Thick As Mud is a guitar rock album that sounds like a bunch of guys rocking out in a room together. Galey is usually straining his voice to just the right point against distorted guitar riffs. While we are talking about guitars I loved the tone they were able to achieve. The lead guitar has just the right amount of distortion to sound like a classic 70’s tone. Strickland and Burchett are also a key ingredient to the band as they are not a rhythm section that is simply there to create a backbone. They play in the pocket together and also know how to flex their muscles.
The first thing you hear on the album is the sound of a motorcycle that begins your ride into good old-fashioned rock and roll. The first song “Heater” has a rather sparse verse almost completely made up of bass, drums and vocals. It prepares you for the heavy chorus that is quite anthemic as Galey sings “I don't give a damn what your mother heard.” “Lay Down And Die” is a slower song that tips it hat to the blues while “Diego” is a fueled song that is bursting at the seams with energy. “My Dime” has some of the best lead guitar work on the album as well as another howling performance from Galey. I loved the closer “Dirt Dawgz,” which would be a great song to hear at your local dive bar if you want to go dancing with your favorite number. This hoedown ditty was definitely a good way the end the album.
Thick As Mud is an unpretentious album that delivers straight up southern inspired rock. I think I'm going to pour myself a shot of Jack Daniels and give it another spin.
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