Left Lane Cruiser - Claw Machine Wizard,
From the photo on the front cover which features the duo staring at the camera through every note of music, this album just reeks of intensity, integrity, and being damn real. On the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based band’s seventh studio album, founder Freddy J Evans IV (guitar/vocals) has returned to the duo format the band has been known for since their inception over 10 years ago (save for the expanded three-piece on their last album of new material, ‘Dirty Spliff Blues’). The decision to pare the band back down was made by Freddy. "Left Lane Cruiser was born as a two-piece and our attack and style of blues just works better as a duo,” admits the frontman. Joined by drummer Pete Dio the duo’s sound is still grounded in primordial blues-punk, with swagger, sweat and attitude. It is the sort of album that could have been released forty years ago or more, there is no over the top production or massive sets of overdubs, it is all about turning up, plugging in, and playing.
I do like Freddy’s views, “I think one of the most important aspects of creating music is collaboration. I’ve never refused to listen to other people's ideas. Something amazing always comes out of it. Collaboration is like the fifth element. You can't do it all on your own. You can write a whole album. Have it perfect and polished. Bring it in the studio and cut it. But I truly believe the magic don't happen unless you get it a little f**ked up, run it thru the dirt, dip it in some butter, serve it up, then let the folks working with you throw their flavour on it. And then you got something special.” When I come across a press release that manages to namecheck both MC5 and Dr. Feelgood, then I know I am onto something special, and that is indeed the case.
This is blues that is rough and ready, with a little bit of Link Wray, a taste of Lightnin’ Hopkins, and a whole lot of attitude. It feels honest, deep and rich oak as opposed to the plastic that so often appears on the radio. It is of no surprise that this has also been released on 180-gram vinyl, of course it has.