Album Review: John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives - 'Spills And Thrills'
Old-school bluesy rock, but too slick by half
The blues aren’t supposed to be slick. It’s difficult to sing convincingly about losing one’s (insert noun here) over glossy production. Signed to Fat Possum, this shouldn’t be a problem for the Memphis sextet. But it is. ‘Spills And Thrills’ neither rocks nor rolls. The rhythms chug fatalistically along like an ageing waitress chain-smoking in a roadside diner, while John Paul Keith himself hollers with all the charm of a snake oil salesman. ‘Cookie Bones’ ought to have been an old-school, ‘Green Onions’-style talent showcase, but instead sounds like an extended radio sting. On ‘She’ll Dance To Anything’, he wheedles, “She’ll never notice if it doesn’t swing/She’ll dance to anything”. Fact is mate, a) she will, and b) she won’t.
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