Charleston Roots Group Gaslight Street Drop Bluesy New Album
Charleston has been home to some of TMM’s most favorite artists like Tyler Boone and Michael Flynn, so it’s no surprise that rollicking roots group Gaslight Street also hail from The Holy City. What is a surprise, though, is just how rich and robust their latest album, You Already Know, is. Maybe we shouldn’t be in awe, considering what we already know about Charleston’s overwhelming talent, but there’s something about this record that’s so full of magic that we can’t help but be taken aback.
Of course, the guys of Gaslight Street are veterans of music success. They’ve already got a bunch of releases under their belt and they’re basically hometown heroes, so You Already Know is aptly named — we do already know that Gaslight Street is good. The album is a continuation, then, of what is already a vibrant discography of blues-rock and roots anthems.
You Already Know opens with “Let Me Go,” a powerful ballad serving as the perfect introduction to a versatile record. We get a taste of those gritty vocals and some woozy blues treatment, a pulsing arrangement almost elegiac in its choir harmonies and sweeping melody. On “Try To Remember,” the band replaces a funeral with a celebration — it’s an upbeat blues-rock anthem wild with a buzzy brass section and simple fun. The band is just rocking and rolling here, a number that must delight when performed live. Next comes “Tear Us Apart,” a slinking halfway point between the ballads and bangers that Gaslight Street pay equal attention to. There’s a cool edge to the rhythm section and the vocals are almost drowsy, too, so that even when there are moments of rich brass or peppy percussion, there’s still a shadowy tone laying like a film over the soulful arrangement.
On “Salvation,” the band keep experimenting with genre-bending tactics, pairing searing guitar riffs with jazzy interludes. It’s a slightly frazzled composition, each new element fighting for space, but it’s big with color and energy. The middle of You Already Know finds “Therapy,” an impossibly sleek roots-rock arrangement. Veering from the band’s typical tempo, it feels slow-going despite the all-in nature of its quirky instrumentation. It begs you to keep interested (and you will because how can you not?) and it rewards you with these lurching, groovy rhythms, a true standout on the record. “Demon” has the same addictive effect but it’s more obvious — straight away it kicks off with searing rhythms and a catchy hook, consistent throughout the track in its rollicking, high-energy performance built on sweet rock ‘n roll.
Nearing the end of You Already Know comes “No Time,” another standout for its smooth bluesy production and relaxed pacing. It’s not nearly as in-your-face as other arrangements even though it still bursts with vibrant rhythm wars and droning brass sections. On “Hey Brother,” things pick up once again with the plink of keys and steady percussion pulsing far beneath the creeping soul composition rich with new vocal tones and shuffle of layered blues-rock rhythms — the solos are fiery, major examples of the kind of talent this band boasts. You Already Know ends with its longest track, “Easy Papa,” well-deserving of its length because it languishes, drowsily trailing a sweet, sleepy conclusion like honey. It sounds like amber, clear and golden in its slow rolls of bluesified rhythms and soulful vocal delivery. It takes its time until it comes to a rich bursting halt.
On You Already Know, Gaslight Street depict their talent as blues rockers over and over again. Each song is a spirited exploration of shaky roots and energetic rock, resulting in a dynamic combination bringing to life a powerful selection.
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