By: Dr. Matt Warnock
Heavy Days is a killin’, in your face rock record from power trio Mambo Sons. Described by Rock and Roll Report Magazine as “the best straight out rock and roll record of the year,” the album lives up to the hype as it delivers two discs full of powerful guitar riffs, catchy lyrics and enough groove to satisfy even the most seasoned rock fan.
The band, made up of guitarist Tom Guerra, bassist and lead vocalist Scott Lawson and drummer Joe “The Cat” Lemieux, is in top form throughout, as they lay down track after track of classic rock influenced songs, all while injecting enough of their personalities to make the classic-rock genre their own, something that the rock genre seems to have been lacking in recent years and an approach that will definitely be appreciated by rock fans the world over.
One of the reasons that the album is so listenable, and successful, is the subtle variations that the band brings to the classic rock genre. Yes, these songs would fit just as well in any ‘70s era record store as they do on iTunes, but it is the small twists and turns that the band takes that really breathes life into each song.
Take a song such as “The Only Woman,” with its ‘70s influenced guitar work, complete with skilled Wah work by Guerra, and powerful vocals by Lawson. This song could easy have been on any Free, Aerosmith or Foghat record from back in the day. But, while the song has one foot in the classic era of ‘70s rock, it is also modern and unique at the same time.
This ability to dig deep into their roots, while maintaining a personalized sound, gives the Mambo Sons a sound that grabs the listener by the ears and doesn’t let go until the last notes on the album have faded off into the ether.
Other songs, such as the minor keyed rocker “The Early Train,” bring to light the band’s softer side, complete with soulful lyrics, a simple, yet compelling, guitar riff and a solid groove, this song is definitely one of the album’s highlights. Many bands can lay down a fast rock beat, crank out heavy guitar riffs and screaming vocals, but few can then turn around and dig deep into their emotional side with the musicality of these three talented rockers.
When people ask why band x or band y has been around for decades upon decades, the answer is never that they rock harder than others, the answer is that they possess the musical depth to write songs like “The Early Train,” a depth that Mambo Sons has in spades.
If you’re looking for a great rock album to add to your library check out Heavy Days. With two discs full of well-written and expertly played material to enjoy, this album is definitely a bargain at any price.