The Upshot: Cutting the crap and aiming for short ‘n’ sweet, this straightforward outfit makes soulful, meat and potatoes rock.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
The Blessings are one of the few American acts that still believe (unironically) in the rock & roll standards set by the Rolling Stones and the Faces: simple (but not stupid), R&B-based (but not dominated), straightforward (but not crude). The L.A. sextet hasn’t released a record since 2011’s masterful Tomahawk Inn, so the appearance of new EP Shipwrecked is more than welcome.
Less aggressive that previous efforts, the disk shows different sides to the Blessings’ talents via the wistful folk rock of the title track to the roots rock of “Ran Out of Teardrops,” which somehow crossbreeds the J. Geils Band with Green On Red. Which isn’t to say the band has abandoned its initial vision: the blues-rollicking “Born With Horns,” the soulful “Come Back Home” and the galloping “Mississippi Moon” fly the meat-and-potatoes rock & roll flag high.
Each cut is finely crafted and loosely performed in the classic style, making us wish there were more than just five. Then again, there’s something to be said for cutting the crap and delivering your best in a short ‘n’ sweet manner, and on Shipwrecked the Blessings knock that approach out of the park.
DOWNLOAD: “Shipwrecked,” “Mississippi Moon,” “Ran Out of Teardrops”