GA-20 – Crackdown | Album Review

GA-20 – Crackdown

Karma Chief/Colemine Records

10 tracks

GA-20 is one of the top new blues and rock bands on the scene today. This is GA-20’s third big album, following 2019’s Lonely Soul and 2021’s Try It…You Might Like It! GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor. Featuring all original music, GA-20 takes the listener on a roller coaster ride of blues and rock and roll. The blues emerges out of the traditional realm, with primal, hill country beats, haunting and howling vocals, and a dirty, distorted and raw guitar sounds that trance-fully lull the listener into their web. One listen and you, too, will be captured by their sound.

GA-20 is the trio of guitarist Matt Stubbs, guitarist and vocalist Pat Faherty, and drummer Tim Carman. Justin Lopes also appears here on organ. Stubbs spent 14 years touring with Charlie Musselwhite. He formed the band in 2018 with Faherty who he met up with in Boston. This power trio is the real deal.

The album kicks off with “Fairweather Friend” with a prominent, driving beat and howling vocals. It’s a great hook and gets the listener interested in what’s about to follow. “Dry Run” follows, a slow and cool cut with Faherty giving us another cool vocal performance as tells his woman he won’t let her “practice” on him. A cool echo-filled guitar solo and sound throughout helps make this fun.

Next up is “Easy On The Eyes” with more howling vocals, raw guitar, a primal beat and lyrics about how his woman is good looking. The title track is next; this cut is an instrumental and  features more of that raw, vibrant guitar laid over the conversational sounds of perhaps a club full of people.  It’s simplistic yet complex and offers the listener an interesting four minute ride in the sounds of GA-20 Land.

“Just Because” hearkens back to 1950’s/early 1960’s rock with a crooning ballad with a soulful vocal performance with gutsy guitar and a driving beat that GA-20 lays down so well. That is followed by “By My Lonesome” with a Beatles-meet-Chuck Berry-esque sort of song and sound updated into the bands’ sound. It’s a fun rock and roller with a huge, slightly distorted and cool sound.

“I Let Someone In” continues the howling vocal assault and a slow and slick distorted lead guitar driving the cut along. Primal vocals and guitar grab the listener’s interest. After that we have “Double Gettin’” that opens with a sweet drum intro and then breaks into perhaps what I’d call GA-20 rockabilly. Cool stuff.

“Gone For Good” is another blues ballad of sorts with more of that stinging and ringing guitar and Faherty’s big, upfront vocals. More very interesting and well-done stuff. The opening tracks gets reprised as a final goodbye, scaled and slowed down into a true farewell to conclude this fine album.

This is a super studio effort with 9 new songs that will tear at the emotions of the listener. I really enjoyed listening and highly recommend this album!

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