The Begowatts comprised of Arthur Eigenbrot, Ben Tofflemire, David French and Christopher Lietz is a no frills rock band from Madison, Wisconsin. Their recent self-titled release The Begowatts is a tip of the hat to ‘70s rock from Led Zeppelin to Jimi Hendrix. It’s not the most original thing you will hear this year by a long shot but it’s hard not to like a band that digs into the essence of rock n’ roll. The songs almost feel like covers in that they are like something Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones would have come up with in an alternative universe.
Aesthetically, the songs are a little above what you expect from a demo but don’t have the polish you would hope to hear from a commercial release. It’s most likely a decent representation of what they sound like live but things like the cymbals being too loud and the vocals being too buried are noticeable. The lead singer pours on a deep, super thick blues style voice that almost sounds exaggerated. In all honesty I had a hard time making out the lyrics because he pours it on so thick.
The band opens with “Preacher Girl” which is a quick lesson in classic ‘70s blues style rock. “Preacher Girl” follows a “Black Dog” structure in that a fiercer guitar lead gives way to a vocal blues inspired vocal part. The song is predictable but nonetheless well written. The ‘70s vibe isn’t only overt in the music but in the lyrics. On “Wanderer” the vocalist sings, “Heading down the motorway / I've got a woman on my mind / You've gone and put me in a hurry / You're not even my kind.”
“Devil's Got A Gun” is a bit of early ZZ TOP mixed with “Radar Love” while “Sophisticated Lady” contains some talking that sounds like Jim Morrison. In fact “Sophisticated Lady” sounds similar to a number of songs by The Doors.
I’m sure The Begowatts would be fun to see on a Friday night at a bar but at this point they might be just as effective playing covers of classic rock bands. If The Begowatts hope to be anything more than a band that pays homage to bands from late ‘60s and early ‘70s they are going to have to bring a bit more originality to the songs They have an album in the works so we can wait and see if they were able to conjure their own essence in the not to distant future.
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