Brownsville Station - Still Smokin'
2012 finally sees the return of Brownsville Station with a superb new thirteen track CD. The band were formed back in the late 60's and have released a number albums over the years and toured all over the place with some of rocks premier artists. They have been signed to massive labels such as Warner Bros and had numerous top 50 hits. The core of the band still consist of drummer Henry "H-Bomb" Weck, vocalist, bassist and guitarist Michael Lutz with guitarist Andy Patalan (of Sponge fame), guitarist Billy Craig and bassist Greg Beyer. Tim Patalan (bassist for Sponge) is executive producer whilst main production duties are from Michael and Henry.
This album has all the fundamentals I like about this style of music. Brownsville Station are one of those rare beasts where the music is diverse fresh and full of energy, thus making for a fun hard rockin' earthy record. A lot of care and attention has gone into the creation of the album, especially with the crisp slick production and the awesome album artwork sleeve. 'Still Smokin' has all the hallmarks that fans of this genre enjoy, it's varied in structure and you can hear a lot of different rock styles from classic rock, to Americana, country and blues rock, and it's easy to go through tracks suggesting this one sounds like so and so etc,, which they do, but they also have the bands own stamp on the song, which makes the album one of the albums of 2012.
The drum pumping 'Shakin' kicks off the album and it's classic vintage diesel flowing melodic hard rock all the way, the guitar work is great, it’s got a strong Sammy Hagar feel crossed with Bob Segar, John Cougar Mellenamp through to the Rolling Stones and a whole string of other influences. It's a fun track with a strong southern feel. 'Rock And Roll Is Better Than Music' is a sharp straight forward rocker a little Ted Nugent meets Bob Seger and even a little Bon Jovi. The chorus is catchy as hell with strong AC/DC style guitars. 'Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda' is a fun rocker with a melodic edge, a little Night Ranger in feel. 'My Friend Jack' goes for that honky tonk country feel. I love the dixie feel of this track, it’s got a John Cougar Mellencamp meets Bob Segar style swagger about it coupled with Bonnie Raitt and modern artists like Brad Paisley and Kenny Wayne Chesney, really good song. 'By Your Side' gets the feet tapping and is a cool catchy up-temp ditty, it's got a gritty twist to it a'ka Bachman Turner Overdrive and early Bryan Adams. This is a superb summery song. Another excellent track is 'Make A Difference', the chorus is dead catchy and the whole song has plenty of rock chops, it's one of those songs that back in the day could have been a hit. Turn the volume up when u play this track, melodic heaven with a southern edge. Next is a reworking of the bands best known cut 'Smokin' In The Boys Room', which everyone knows was covered by Motley Crue. This version is crunchy and as always full of swagger and fits nicely into this albums grooves, the band should consider re-releasing the single digitally to iTunes and other mediums.
'Busy Guy' has that vintage blues and Americana feel with a little 60's Brit pop/rock added, a little in style to Dylan, Allman Brothers, The Beatles, Dan Baird, Clapton and Aerosmith mashed in together. It's a fun ditty and one of the stand out cuts on the CD. The electric 'Already Gone' is super smooth catchy and melodic, very retro in style with strong chugging guitars and raspy Jagger like vocals. 'Someday, Somehow, Someway' is another standout cut, this track is smoother and more laid back a little Bryan Adams in style mixed with early Robert Palmer and hints of Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. Next up is the awesome 'Ariel', this is an up-tempo hi-tech rocker with a great sing along chorus in the vein of Styx/REO Speedwagon meets 38 Special southern feel, the guitar work is gorgeous. This is one of the best tracks on the album, superb. 'Long Time Gone' has that Sammy Hagar feel mixed with John Cougar Mellencamp etc..it's a solid classic rock number. 'Rockin' The Universe' ends the album with the band firing on all ten cylinders, it's a fun rocker, catchy chorus cranking guitars and comes over in the vein of Styx.
There is so much to enjoy from this album. I'm really excited about this one, it's a strong diverse album that holds up all the way through, it's sounds fresh and full of energy and passion, musically it's all here, there is something for everyone to enjoy throughout 'Still Smokin'. Brownsville Station capture skill full playing, masterful song writing, and they stand out from the crowd and are s band who perform with feeling and style, very enjoyable release.