Roundhouse is a funk and blues heavy rock band operating out of the old and new school punk environs of Nashville, Tennessee. The quartet features Curran Goad who takes turns playing guitar bass and singing alongside Max Devaney.
Baritone and alto saxophonist Adam Johnson and drummer and percussionist Anthony Rich round out Roundhouse’s unique sound which along with the aforementioned tones of funk and blues also sprinkle this eponymous offering with odes to grunge and even some jazz, naturally provided by the addition of the saxophone, which holds its own among these heavier sounds much in the way English ska-rockers Madness were able to do so awesomely way back when.
Roundhouse opens with a swift kick of rock and funky blues on “Cadillac.” Its lo-fi and filthy with shredding guitars and tomahawk drumbeats and then there is the aforementioned siren sound of saxophone which provides some depth and character. The vocals are sparse and grumbling and reminded me of Alice Cooper’s scowling screams in his heyday.
Next up comes the even thicker blues rock of “Five Finger Discount” which is a refreshing bit of story-telling lyricism from the point of view of an expert shoplifter. It’s also pretty damn catchy and reminded me a bit of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Things get a little out of hand in a good way on the loose and loud rocker “Cheap Thrills” a balls out rocker that seems like it could fall apart at any time as though it’s being held together by scotch tape. Next up “Pills, Mom” with its thick bass lines dripping with ‘90s grunge residue sounds like it could have come off an early demo tape of Bleach.
Later we are treated to the quietest song on Roundhouse. At a little over four minutes the acoustic guitar ballad “6000 Feet” is the record’s odd duck but also I think a nice addition which shows that the band isn’t just loud loutish rockers whose main objective is to write only shocking, ear jarring rock songs. However when they want to, like they do on the balls to the wall rocker “Foxtrot Octagon” they do so with fierce precision.
Roundhouse is a dirty rock record with just enough nuances thrown in to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the pile of other dirty rock bands. There is plenty of stuff out there that falls into this category, so much so that one could waste hours trying to find something that’s worth their attention. I’m here to save you some time sifting through the garbage and telling you Roundhouse is a sure bet.
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