Forming in 2006 The Few consisting of Kevin MacKenzie (vocals and guitar), Ryan Martin (bass), Shaemus Shepard (drums) and Jaime MacKenzie (vocals & percussion) are a seasoned band that knows how to bring the noise. The music they play on their third album Love & Whiskey is foundationally rock but has enough variation to make their sound unique and less predictable.
There are a couple of elements on this album that make it something you should check out. First, is the two lead vocalists Kevin and Jaime MacKenzie. Both of the interchangeable vocalists can belt out a tune. Kevin MacKenzie has an attractive, almost comforting voice that sounds good against twangy guitars. On the other hand Jaime MacKenzie can belt it out with a powerful confidence not unlike that of Amy Wilson from Heart.
The other element was the recruitment of Tony Susen to play the pedal steel. It does provide more of that “twang” they refer to on their Bandcamp page. The pedal steel guitar plays a big part on the opening song “No Where To Run” as it lays upon the drums, guitars and bass.
As much as I liked the first two songs the third song “I Don’t Believe You” had a lot to embrace. I enjoyed the mix between what Tom Waits sometimes sounds like (a psychedelic drunken Russian Circus) and rock. A kazoo usually doesn't work well in any circumstance but I have to admit they pulled it off.
They continue to rock out with the last two songs “Lying” and “Gone” and close with another highlight called “Push.” The pedal steel is at its best on this song and really adds fuel to the fire. It’s a real treat as it slides against the vocal line “I’m gonna push you there.”
Love & Whiskey is a very solid rock album. The production is slick, the arrangements are put together well and it feels like a good indicator of what these guys might sound like live.
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