POPPY & THE USUAL SUSPECTS

"Celestial Love Jones" (PopnMad; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

 

Back in the good old days, when the economy was still breathing, we used to take a trip to Laughlin, Nevada every year for their "Blues & Brews" festival. It was a two day celebration of great beer (courtesy of The Boiler Room, the only brewery in Laughlin) and of great blues music.

I loved to sit there in the hot desert sun, drinking The Boiler Room's excellent pale ale and listening to band after band get up on stage and rip out some killer blues music. And I was always amazed at the similarities between the blues I was listening to live and the hard rock/heavy metal, the music I love. I mean, they're obviously different styles of music, but they share a lot of the same traits (i.e., a focus on guitar, killer lead solos, chunky guitar chords, etc.).

Based on what I hear on "Celestial Love Jones," Poppy & the Usual Suspects would be a perfect band to play at the Blues & Brews fest. Their feet are firmly planted in blues, but there's a harder edge to their music that nudges it toward the hard rock arena. The songs are brilliantly melodic, the guitars fat and upfront with solos that rip, and the vocals are even and just a little rough. It's impossible not to get caught up in the groove as you listen.

With a sound that falls somewhere between Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix, "Celestial Love Jones" is a solidly rocking CD from beginning to end. Hey, maybe I'll be able to catch Poppy & the Usual Suspects at the Blues and Brews fest in Laughlin this year!

For more information, check out http://www.poppyandtheusualsuspects.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 18 Dec 2016 12:46:22 -0500.