Nashville Demons by OJR is much more then a traditional blues rock album. I don’t want to simply compartmentalize this album and this band into that because the album is a such a magical blend of many styles that are produced extremely well. There are hints of Americana, an undeniably Indie- rock sound and that Bluesy Johnny Cash almost country sound and much more.
This album breaches between at least 6 genres at once and it is very mentally stimulating. On the opener"Numb" I enjoyed his Lou Reed-esque talk/sing type delivery. Lines like “She said, “Aw, boy, you’re so young! Why don’t you go travel some? made me think that this band knows about that kind of growth you might experience when you are young and traveling and this song is an ode to that growth. The bass reminds of something Les Claypool or Buckethead would conjur up. The drums are rocktastic and filled with energy. They are pulsating and driving. The guitar and bass and drums are so in sync they seem to be the same instrument. There is not a lot of deviation in character between the instruments.
The next track "Running from the Law" brings that country, outlaw vibe that is a good dose of Spaghetti Western that would sound good in a Quentin Tarantino flick. You know these days everyone wants to be a gangster with all of the gangster music and whatnot, but what is more gangster than being an outlaw cowboy/cowgirl? Prob not much. This is great saloon music and also just great square dancing music.
Moving through the album "In Love with a Bowler" is a tip of the hat to 50's doo-wop. There is a chorus of voices that are very succinct and imaginative. I love the love in this song. The vocalist is dynamic and showcases his range. He sings, "Please shout me your sweet name across this polished wooden lane, I wish you’d come and dance with me, Aw, but I’m just a big old turkey, Gobble gobble, mama!." I enjoyed the piano/organ fusion. The organ walks itself up and down the track. It makes me want to sway back and forth. It is important to put a spin on love songs because they can start to sound very similar in content. This is great.
"Fisher of Men" is a gorgeous song that is revolves around a fantastic vocal performance and orchestral strings while the closer "Front-Door Man" is fine mix of multiple genres under the umbrella of rock from surf to garage.
The most misleading thing about Nashville Demos are that they are pretty far from sounding like demos. Nashville Demos contains a eclectic mix of a lot of good and a couple of great songs. This is fantastic mix of styles and inspiration. Highly Recommended.
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