Blacktop Mojo - 'Under The Sun' Album Review
1. Lay It On Me
2. Set It Free
3. Come Get Your Coat
5. It Won’t Last
6. All Mine Now
7. Can’t Sleep
8. The Lashing (Ghost)
9. The Void
10. Under The Sun
Blacktop Mojo inexplicably slipped under my radar for far too long as I only found out about them well after their previous album. I was excited to hear this new one but have only just now got around to writing my review for this album you need to hear. Blacktop Mojo hail from Palestine, Texas but only hints of that background are captured in their sound. They could come from many different places with the way they blend their influences and add in their own special seasonings to make it all their own. They could sit comfortably between the likes of Soundgarden and Lynyrd Skynyrd. ‘Under The Sun’ finds the band continuing to write great songs.
‘Lay It On Me’ comes to life with a surge of bass and drums before exploding into a killer riff. The band dials it back a bit in the verse for Matt James to sing an excellent verse before exploding into the chorus. If you don’t have the album turned up already, I suggest you start over and crank it up loud. It is a great use of contrasts that add even more power to the song. The song is probably too heavy for most radio stations which is their loss as this song would likely do really well with listeners. ‘Set It Free’ highlights some excellent guitar work by Ryan Kiefer and Chuck Wepfer as well as a great groove by Nathan Gillis (drums) and Matt Curtis (bass). The hook here is slightly subtle but remains with you. The band keep the foot on the groove with ‘Come Get Your Coat.’ The passage in the song that brings the song down before it explodes back into the chorus hits the sweet spot.
‘Keep’ finds the band keeping a slow heavy beat that finds a raging chorus causing headbanging. Once again, the guitar solo by Kiefer is excellently done. I love the way the groove always seems to get heavier as the song goes. Wrapping up the first half of the album is ‘It Won’t Last,’ which slows things down for some excellent Bluesy Rock. James’ vocals shine throughout the album with this being just another example of his killer pipes.
Kicking off the second half of the record is ‘All Mine Now’ and finds the band bringing down the sledgehammer. The band avoids the huge chorus here which serves the song perfectly. First single/ video ‘Can’t Sleep’ follows and really should have been all over the radio and satellite everywhere. The bass line by Curtis is awesome and the way the song builds is what many bands spend a career trying to achieve. Slowing things down with ‘The Lashing (Ghost)’ it suffers a bit because it follows ‘Can’t Sleep.’ It has some nice moments but suffers because of its placement which would be true of many songs trying to follow ‘Can’t Sleep.’
‘The Void’ opens acoustically for the first part of the verse before everyone joins the song. There is a power in the song even after the first chorus when they dial back the power a bit. The title track wraps up the album entirely too soon with its heavy powerful groove. If you are not moving during this song, someone should be checking your pulse.
Blacktop Mojo have created a great record that needs to be heard far and wide. For those that have heard this, tell your friends and make them listen. If you have not heard it yet, check it out now. The modern touches on the album make it sound very contemporary while the Classic Rock influences also shine throughout the album. Get yourself some Blacktop Mojo now!
‘Under The Sun’ is available now.
Website - https://www.blacktopmojo.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BlacktopMojo/
Review - Gerald Stansbury