This album was released in April of 2010. You’re thinking, why are you reviewing it now? Well, kind sir/ma’am, this album hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Our goal is to spread the music and I guarantee you haven’t heard this album before. Buckle up.
They call it Americana. I call it rock ‘n roll. Some would call it southern – me, I would call it soulful. The sound The Black Cadillacs have bottled into All Them Witches is reminiscent of a midnight bonfire – beer, fun, and inevitable heartbreak beneath the open stars. Opening with their heels firmly entrenched in country roots, “Desperate” (and the album as a whole) features vocalist Will Horton belting it out like Caleb Followill had a long hard night and listened to a great many Stones records and when the sun came up he decided to record an album (that’s a compliment, by the way). The song ebbs and flows in a predictable fashion but it feels like something a bit more.
The melancholy doesn’t last long. From the opening riff “Squad Car Blues” is pure, unadulterated rock. The chorus is simple and straightforward:
“It’s strange, so strange, I got the squad car blues.”
The thing is, I’m unsure if the song refers to “squad car blues” as good or bad – it is left open ended; maybe they want the excitement – sometimes the most innocuous lines are part of the best stories.
“Something To Shake” is the “single” of this album if there ever was one. It’s presence is gritty from the moment the vocals bust in and ride the wave of immediacy driven by the guitar. The chorus is extremely accessible – a great feather in the cap of a new band trying to gain fans in somewhat hostile (read as: trying to appear bored) environments.
“Falling Down” appears to be nothing more than another soft, subtle ballad until the guitar blasts in through the chorus and reminds you that yes, you are listening to true rock ‘n roll. The solo is as retro as it gets. While it seems a bit over the top it fits the track splendidly.
The rock ‘n roll is fused together with a huge helping of blues sounds, the kind you never hear on the radio nowadays unless you have stumbled into a smoke-filled bar for a night of forgetting your worldly cares. Make no mistake – these are bar friendly songs, but this album is much more than that. There are bumps in the road but I feel that most of the wounds are superficial. Would I prefer more oomph than is presented? Of course, but I have a feeling the band is what it is for better or worse. I’m down with that.
Rarely do I come across an album that has no constantly repeatable single, yet the album itself is infinitely repeatable. All Them Witches is like the girlfriend who plays video games – rare indeed. Driving home in the car late at night? It works. Feeling down? Still works. Just wanna rock out and have a good time? Sure as hell works.
Now you can’t say you didn’t know. You can find out more about The Black Cadillacs here. You can listen to “Something To Shake” and “Falling Down” below, as well as throw some money their way by picking up the album.