23 Oct 2021
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The Solomon Cole Band - Single Review: Lucifer's Rising

26 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland

The Solomon Cole Band comprise Solomon (vocals, guitar), Fonnie Jo Davies (vocals), Lee Catlin (bass) and Loujean (LJ) Philander (drums), and one has to ask the question as to when did Waiheke Island become part of the Deep South and go back in time? Their latest release, Lucifer’s Rising, is taken from their second album, A Little South Of Heaven, and takes us almost 100 years into the past and geographically into the Southern states of America. It starts off as if it is a chain gang recording, the traditional pre-war blues style, with just vocals, simple guitars (including a steel) and a bass tied in with the bass drum. More vocals are layered on top, and the song gradually builds, with more than small amount of influence taken from the likes of the mighty Son House.

Away from the introduction, the band evoke the spirit of Dr John, the Night Tripper, bringing forth a Cajun-inspired voodoo blues which is so evocative the listener feels as if they are in the heart of Louisiana. This is music which is incredibly emotional, as the listener is taken on a journey which is totally genuine, and it is hard to believe this is coming from New Zealand. Fans of the likes of Leadbelly and Charley Patton are going to be amazed that music like this is being produced in 2020, mixing that traditional sound with swamp rock and roll. The chain gang style keeps coming back through the song as it develops into something which is dark and dirty, not something which should be out during the day as this is music for the night time, when anything is possible.

There is a swagger here, a knowledge that here is the raw genuine deal, with every note soaked in history and power, when music was created on emotion in the fields as opposed to in a studio with everything going through autotune. Each time I play this I “see” cotton fields and labourers, which morphs into something spilling out of a dirty dive in the French Quarter and the pictures in my head become intermingled and on top of each other. If the album is as powerful as the single, then it will be indispensable.  

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About The Solomon Cole Band

The Solomon Cole Band play the type of music god fearing parents warn their children about - voodoo-drenched rock and roll blues, trance type back beats riding the knife edge of desire and desolation.

Evoking the dark folklore of Tom Waits, their sound marries the blues effigies of Son House, R L Burnside, embraces the spirit of Howlin' Wolf - all the while delivering it with the rock'n'roll swagger of a Black Keys / voodoo inspired mardi gras for the lonesome and downtrodden. The Solomon Cole Band ushered forth an electrifying rock'n'roll momentum with the release of their debut album Bruises in 2016. Hailed as one of the year’s best releases, Bruises erupted onto the local scene – receiving rave reviews, charting on both the NZ Local album and Independent NZ Music Album charts and culminating in a nomination for the Taite Music Prize for Best Debut Album.

The ultimate alt-blues crossover act, The Solomon Cole Band have opened for Martha Davis & The Motels (US), My Baby (Europe), The Animals (UK) and The Supersuckers (US). Solomon Cole was also selected to open for The Marcus King Band (US) in 2020, as part of King's planned tour of Australia and New Zealand. A Little South Of Heaven, their sophomore album set to be released next year, represents the evolution of a band on the threshold of taking hold and their emergence from the underground: from the grinding roots stomp of Lucifer's Rising, the sultry snap of Fixin' To Live to the electric trance groove of Diamond In Your Eye, The Solomon Cole Band will shortly no longer be NZ's best kept little secret.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Solomon Cole Band

Releases

Bruises
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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