Release Date: Sep 10, 2013
Record label: ATO
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Roots Rock
When many of us first heard J Roddy Walston and the Business, it was a few years back with the ragged, honky tonk bar slammer Don’t Break The Needle, a tour de force that somehow successfully channeled Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bachman Turner Overdrive and Jerry Lee Lewis into a whole new concoction, like some unholy earworm the Rolling Stones only wish they had written. The Tennessee Quartet’s self-titled album had charm to spare. With a new label, J-Rod (can we make this a thing?) and his crew have created a bar album to be played in pool halls right across America.
Guitar rock fans who parted ways with one-time would-be saviors Kings of Leon after that band lost the plot in a morass of drugs and “Sex on Fire” were no doubt heartened when they heard Baltimore-by-way-of-Nashville quartet J. Roddy Walston and the Business. A Southern-accented (and occasionally mush-mouthed), piano-pounding wild man lead singer raising holy hell over greasy barroom riffs is everything great rock ‘n’ roll should be.
J. Roddy Walston & the Business are a tough band to pin down, with a sound that is both familiar and then something else again: a mix of Southern rock, and Jerry Lee Lewis with some Big Star tossed in, a whole lot of Led Zeppelin stomp, a Creedence Clearwater Revival kind of bounce to everything, maybe some Motown soul, too, and yet, this is a band that assimilates all of this with ease, and truthfully, it works more often than it doesn't. Essential Tremors (the title refers to a nervous-system disorder that affects main singer and songwriter J.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Everyone knows the premise of a 'good first impression', you were nagged and reminded by teachers, careers advisors and even your Nan that the key to avoid looking like a nob was to master this Holy Grail of etiquette. In this regard, Essential Tremors, the new 11-track LP from J. Roddy Walston & The Business makes one hell of a balls to the wall, rock 'n' roll frenzy of a first impression.
The classic 70s rock stylings of pianist frontman Walston and friends recently earned them a coveted slot on David Letterman's Late Show . On the evidence of their third album, it isn't obvious why. There's no fresh spin on the hoary old Led Zep-isms of Sweat Shock and recent single Heavy Bells, while more ponderous material fails to distinguish them from a competent bar band.
Baltimore, by way of Tennessee, rockers J. Roddy Walston & The Business stretch beyond their comfortable Southern rock take on Led Zeppelin – a sound that was lathered all over their last couple of releases – for more creative and honestly refreshing slower tempo rockers on Essential Tremors. The only problem is you have to wade through the first half of the album to get to the good stuff.