The Taking of Blackheart (Small Stone Recordings)
release date: 1/29/13
by Scott Hefflon
All 11 tracks from Five Horse Johnson’s first release since 2006. Southern/hard rock swagger abound, harmonica-drenched from end to end, dusty vocals of wide range and wide-legged stance, paces that shuffle like ZZ Top, pound like Clutch (no surprise, as Clutch’s Jean Paul Gaster again rocks the kit), and kick up electrified cowboy grit like tequila-shooting Molly Hatchet in their prime. The gunslinger theme is a new addition, and it’s a sun-drenched, leather-slapping success, not a misfire to be found. Slidin’ and shakin’, The Taking Of Blackheart has everything a classic rock fan longs for in this polished, processed alt.boy-band obsessed culture. Why do the skilled and unique blues/garage techniques of Jack White get such mainstream praise, yet a hugely talented and consistent full band such as Five Horse Johnson go largely unnoticed? Rock it hard, talk it up, and buy the band a couple rounds of beer when they come through town. And if your girl’s roommate is still kinda slutty, bring her along too.
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