I am not going to bury the lede here- this is as solid a rock record as you will hear this year. That includes even if you have some good records in your collection.
Conan, as I have stated before, is a lifer. He clearly has sworn allegiance to the riff, and the swing is in his soul. Quite frankly, this record is our reward for his dedication. It’s absolutely killer, and the best I have ever heard from him. Stunningly good stuff.
It’s a loose concept record, about Hannibal Lector, and his secret friends in the books by Thomas Harris, but the concept is not a heavy one. You won’t get bogged down by obscuro references, like some Rush LP. It’s important to know, but not crucial.
Here’s what’s more crucial: this thing is tight, with a seamless collection of the most tasty hooks, and the best delivery possible. The best in rock, and I mean that. Think about it- from Alice Cooper, to UFO, to KISS, to the Misfits, to The Melvins, to Tilts- there is a type of rock music where everything just fits, perfectly- where the production, the songwriting, the performance, heck even the tuning all just come together perfectly- that sense that everything is exactly what it’s supposed to be- this record has it. There’s nothing extraneous – no 3 bar solos that have to be in another key, because they won’t fit, otherwise, nor jazz fakeout drum bits, nor yodelling, nor throat singing, nor funk odyssey- it’s all mighty, mighty solid rock. It’s beyond genre- again, like the sadly departed Tilts, this isn’t cheap nostalgia for the dearly departed music from when I was 15- instead, it’s trying to take the materials at hand, now- indie rock, stoner rock, sludge, noise, punk- and infusing it with a healthy dose of what made that “classic” rock classic to us, when we were 15. Heroic harmonies on the chorus, heart-stopping riffs, and the tightest fills that can be mustered. I have listened to it about 10 times in a row, now, and I don’t skip a track, and I don’t wanna miss a second of it. I have been late getting back from lunch because I don’t want to stop listening mid-song to anything, here. Just mind-blowingly solid- and top notch through out. Sincerely- if you like big, loud, tight rock music- not pop rock- not metal, not punk, not alternative- hard rock music- with melody, and balls aplenty- I cannot suggest anything else- get this, now! I mean, sure, I dig all kinds of music, so, if you’d rather catch up on Merle Haggard’s music, by all means- that’s a good endeavor- but when you want rock music, you really must start here. I realize that the worm that destroys you is the temptation to agree with your critics, to get their approval, but you cannot reduce this rock to a set of influences- it stands as a solid thing on a slippery planet. ( Forgive me, please, I couldn’t resist)
What I guess I am saying is that if you have a fondness for non- hyphenated rock music, this is your new jam.