THE MOJO SLIDE
Out September 4th 2020
Cambridgeshire blues rockers drag the genre kicking and screaming into 2020. Louder Than War’s Dave Beech reviews.
Cambridgeshire might not be the first place that springs to mind when one thinks of gritty and groove-driven blues rock, but that’s exactly where The Mojo Slide come from. You wouldn’t have thought it though, thanks to their effortless amalgamation of timeless 70s rock and classic blues licks that combine to create something equal parts sleaze and swagger. Indeed, their second album Manic Panic is no exception.
Thirteen tracks of riff heavy rock and roll that succeeds in feeling both fresh and familiar, it’s a welcome addition to a genre that often feels in danger of self-suffocation. Of course, while it will do little to win over those who don’t enjoy the genre, for those that do, there’s plenty to make you go back for more.
Previous single ‘Good Times’ is an obvious highlight. Uplifting and optimistic it’s an anthem for the Covid era, offering up four minutes of radio-friendly rock that’s impossible not to feel inspired by, despite what’s going on in the world. Elsewhere things get more interesting. ‘Wandering Breeze’ feels like a cinematic and dust-caked trip to frontier America. Finger picked guitars form a rhythmic backbone, in turn fleshed out through atmospheric an vocal melody and punctuated with subtle strings.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Mojo Slide album without moments of riff-heavy rock, and of course, Manic Panic harbours plenty. ‘Voodoo Eyes’, ‘To Kill A Monkey’ and ‘Good Man Down’ are all yearning for a sweat-soaked blues club in which to shake the dust from the rafters.
The result is a perfectly paced record that succeeds in striking a balance between balls to the wall rock and something more tender, more introspective. Timeless much of their aesthetic maybe, but in exhibiting a side to the band that seems altogether more contemporary, The Mojo Slide have dragged the 1970s kicking and screaming into 2020, and it couldn’t be more welcomed.