(Soul On 10/DD172)
Despite the band’s name, the London Souls hail from New York City, a town
that, despite its hipster veneer, knows a thing or two about rock & roll.
As does this dynamic trio, which recycles/revivifies classic rock tropes with
enough skill and enthusiasm to wave off the stench of nostalgia.
Working similar territory to fellow travelers Earl
Greyhound, the Souls channel big rock riffage, R&B drive and classic pop
melody through a lens of energetic performance and try-anything-once variety.
Thus the band finds its groove as much in the R&B raveup of “She’s in
Control” and the Beatlesque balladry of “Dizzy” as in the heavy blues of “The
Sound” and the anthemic rock of “Stand Up.” Guitarist Kiyoshi’s vocal
resemblance to Lenny Kravitz may be off-putting at first, but his stronger
control and eager axe abuse make his work sound fresh, rather than familiar. The
reggae/rawk mashup of “She’s So Mad” indicates a willingness to fuck around
with tradition that should serve the band well in the future.
The London Souls is yet another riposte to the weak, tired cry of “Rock & roll is dead.”
Up,” “Dizzy,” “She’s So Mad” MICHAEL TOLAND