While it’s not a genre I’m the most familiar with, I do know that good blues music just makes you -feel- something, something deep and special. Sure, there’s plenty of room, especially in bluesy hard rock, for good old fun, but when it clicks, it speaks to something deep and just carries you away.
This is exactly what The Electric Mud are aiming for in Burn the Ships, and they pretty solidly succeed. It’s hard rock at the core, but slathered in, marinated in and just dripping with bluesy attitude through and through. This is an album full of groove, swagger and style. This thing is cool, to put it at its simplest.
Every track has a smooth, smokey quality to it, immediately conjuring clear mental images of the band grooving out through extended, soulful solos (which are a frequent highlight of the LP). Some tracks play out slowly and confidently, like structured jam sessions, while others (“Good Monster”, “Stone Hands” and “Reptile”) have a more rapid pulse beating at their heart, and move into more bouncy, lively territory.
“Black Wool” and album closer “Terrestrial Birds” stand as highlights of Burn the Ships. “Black Wool” is just so damn slick, so thick and heavy in that bluesy kind of way. A low, steady rumble in the middle gives way to an eruption of a solo, before returning home to that same comfortable, bass-heavy sway. “Terrestrial Birds” gives vocalist Peter Kolter a real chance to show off his chops. His delivery here is brimming with force and emotion, and meshes perfectly with the instrumentation. Again, it benefits from a quiet build and then a massive, energetic pay-off.
Burn the Ships is just a good time, a delightful mix of classic hard rock, US southern blues and some touches of vintage stoner rock and even doom metal here and there.