The Record Company – All Of This Life
Building on the success of their first album, The Record Company show even more ambition and chops in this great second release. Three hit songs from the first album and a Grammy Nomination make the first album hard to beat, but this sophomore release is even better! The Record Company is Chris Vos on vocals and guitar, Alex Stiff on bass, and Marc Cazorla on drums. This powerful trio is making waves in the blues world!
The album opens to the driving beat of “Life To Fix,” a tune that espouses taking one step at a time and moving forward against life’s adversities. The driving beat and beautiful supplementing backing vocals support Vos beautifully. It’s a great hook to grab you and make you pay attention. The distorted guitar solo adds to the joyful frenzy and tumult. “I’m Getting Better (And I’m Felling It Right Now) features some pretty harp work and is built on Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited era of his work. It’s blues meets country meets punk rock jumbled together and it works well, maintaining the hellish, driving tempo from the first cut. Next is “Goodbye To The Hard Life” which takes the beat down many notches. Vos sings a little falsetto in this ballad, perhaps mimicking the style of Led Zeppelin. The song builds and adds depth and emotion as it goes on to conclusion. The slide is broken out for “Make It Happen,” which continues the theme of going after what you want to achieve. A throbbing beat and strident vocals and backing vocals make this a big cut that grabs you. It’s hill country blues done with a little R&B and modern sound and I loved it. The slide stays out for the country blues rock ballad “You And Me Now.” It reminds me a little of Hootie and the Blowfish, Eric Lindell and JJ Grey blended together with some pretty acoustic guitar. Good stuff.
“Coming Home” starts the second half of the CD. The beat picks up again and your foots starts tapping and it makes you want to get up and groove to the beat. These guys know how to craft music that grabs you and makes you want to become part of it. The mid to high tempo throbbing is exhilarating. Simple, repetitive lyrics and a little piano mixed in for fun and a dirty lead vocal and guitar just make this all the better. Up next is “The Movie Song,” another cut in the mode of “You And Me Now” but more up tempo in approach. A story in a song, so to speak, with acoustic slide and backing pedal/lap steel and the clear and effective vocals sell this one. “Night Games” follows, has a cool vocal mix, some call and response with falsetto backing vocals that just sound so sweet. The beat and guitars move the song along and the vocals layered on the beat is very cool. “Roll Bones” begins with a bass and drumstick intro that switches to some nasty harp that once again makes the listener take notice. Hot blues, a scorching beat and it’s another winner. The album concludes with “I’m Changing,” a country or southern blues with sparse acoustic guitar and vocals and lyrics that are a little dark. The two-paged One Sheet hearkens the song to Johnny Cash; I agree with that song-wise but the vocal style of Vos is his and his alone. He sings about changing his love The harp solo about 2/3 way through the song is a nice addition as Vos’ emotions build throughout the song. A simple yet effective close to a very fine album.
There are ten wonderful new songs here and these guys are the real deal. This is an album that shows how the blues can remain young and fresh. Wandering through the sounds of the country, the hills and other places, the music takes on it’s own form and makes the listener personally feel what this trio puts into their songs an music. This is a fantastic album, plain and simple. I urge you to listen to it ASAP!