“Southall” – Southall (2023) [english]

There are artists whose growth is evident as the albums follow each other: a musical maturation that almost coincides with the exponential increase in success and the number of fans.

In American independent music it often happens.

It starts with a hard core of listeners that maybe follow you since you took your first steps in a small bar in Stillwater, Oklahoma and now comes to see you in clubs or festivals where there are thousands of people.

Here friends, Southall have made this journey and, like a train running without obstacles, they are exciting for musical freshness, different influences and an explosive sound that makes no prisoners.

I already told you about this band reviewing their third album For the Birds of 2021 (https://www.trexroads.com/for-the-birds-read-southall-band-2021-english/) but there is a substantial difference from the record only 2 years ago: the name.

The leader of this young band is called Read Southall and has always used his name and surname to call his creature since the debut of 2015.

The difference with the past however is evident because now the band members (Ryan Wellman and John Tyler Perry on guitars, Reid Barber on drums, Jeremee Knipp on bass and Braxton Curliss on keyboards) bring their ideas, their notes and words to create songs as a whole.

For this reason they decided to call their band only Southall without adding anything else: it’s us, we are these and we are a band. I’d add to that.

These guys are among the best exponents of the current red dirt music scene in Oklahoma and come from a place where people like Cross Canadian Ragweed and Great Divide were true legends, but Southall are not only that.

They have included in their electrifying sound also flashes of seventy-year rock, discharges of hard rock and many brilliant ideas and personal.

This eponymous album, however, begins with what seems to me a kind of dedication to the sound of their land and the one that is most rooted in their heart: The Score.

Sound, southern guitars and choirs. A start that will surprise you since the rest of the record will be totally invaded by the sound of lashing guitars and a lot of pounding rhythm.

When You’re Around immediately clarifies the concept with electric guitar lashes and a groove wrap.

A fast rock song with an almost punk taste and driven by the intense and particular voice of Read Southall.

The guitars do a great job and whizz away scratching the air, but in the next Out Alive the sound gets even heavier and the guitars get harder.

The riff sounds like a clandestine encounter between Black Sabbath and Jack White’s acid guitar, but it is the shouted voice of the leader that certifies its originality.

Beautiful text, very current on the fear of saying or publishing something in this world of censors who are ready to crucify someone for ideas other than what they think is right.

Don’t get used to the heavy and almost gloomy sound of the previous one, that comes By Surprise a rhythmic and sunny rock that seems almost a rock song of the 90s, carefree and to sing at the top of your lungs with the windows down in an endless summer.

The sure thing is that it’s hard to catalogue Southall, in a way the same thing that happens with Whiskey Myers: we can certainly say that they are American rock in the broadest sense of the term.

There are many different influences and sounds, but all declined with personality and originality.

One Day at Time still changes register, a song almost blues in his guitar recording, a blues however influenced by rock as in the best English tradition of the 70s.

And to stay in that period and in that musical area comes my favorite record: the wonderful and exciting Scared Money.

With a freshness and a great talent, the Oklahoma guys update the sound that the Rolling Stones had concentrated in their masterpiece Exile on Main Street.

Guitars, killer groove riffs and lots of rhythm. The strongest influences of the country of their land is in the text dedicated to workers and ordinary people.

Guitars on the shields also in All I Have and also here strong echo of punk rock 90s, but with a modern appeal and never banal. The work of the guitars is also here a strong point.

They wanted to make a revolutionary record for their career: in the name, in the music and in the way of making it and they relied on the producer of one of the most revolutionary records of recent years, namely Eddie Spear who produced Zach Bryan’s mammoth masterpiece: American Heartbreak.

Another strongly country lyrics in a song characterized by blues guitars: here is Spit it Out. A carpet of keyboards and a rhythmic button, another piece that is on the list of my favorites.

The production and the band create a sound so rich and full of nuances that press repeat will be normal to appreciate the depth.

The album ends with a sunny ballad, Short and Sweet, where the voice of Read gives us perhaps the most unexpected and beautiful performance.

Intense, enveloping and exciting. Here country is also in music, an acoustic ballad to close the show, with the electric guitar trying to peep.

A record that is a real journey into American rock music, without forgetting the origins of a band born in the wake of the great artists of Oklahoma.

Soon among those names become legendary, We could read the name of this band formed by young people from a talent that is now recognized and trust after seeing them live in Milan last year of shoulder to Blackberry Smoke I can confirm that they are an electric discharge as hard as on the boards of a stage.

The success is mounting strong as the evolution of their sound, as I told you at the beginning, and in 2024 they will be on tour as a main attraction in Europe and will also touch Milan: I suggest you mark it in your agenda and, if you love rock, do not miss the opportunity.

Good listening,

Claudio “Trex” Trezzani by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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