Like the Eddie Van Halens and Mick Fleetwoods of the world, guitarist and singer Joshua Bloodsworth has one of those names catered perfectly to a rock 'n' roll band. And like the aforementioned, Bloodsworth's voice is only one of a small chorus on Wild Blood's self-titled debut.
With Torrin Metz (another excellent rock 'n' roll name) and Heidi Buchhorn singing, Bloodsworth trades off vocal and writing responsibilities, creating an ebb of style on the album's nine tracks.
"Old Fashion," a sun-damaged tale of heartbreak, sounds like something out of 69 Love Songs transplanted to Taos, New Mexico. "Black Cloud" has an uncanny Spaghetti Western feel, with a horse-clop beat, slide guitar and plea to "lead me to a better land." "Chinati Blues" is a rippin' highway song, its boot-strut rhythm demanding a heavy foot on the way out to West Texas.
"I've always been inspired by those landscapes," said Metz. "They create such an impression."
So, the heat-bent visions of the desert are a clear focal point for Wild Blood — that or I'm desperately craving a trip west on I-10. But a light droning element, in the form of finger-style guitar, also weaves through the debut.
"That's how me and Josh started syncing up, in drone guitar," said Metz. "We're both influenced by finger-style guitar. American Primitive, Mississippi John Hurd, it's like a whole style of guitar where they're playing bass notes and melody. Doing the whole rhythm."
The heavy blues feel reflects in Wild Blood's language, too — content matching form. Singing of the bellies of trains and motels they'll "never know again," the album has a roaming feel to it, finding solace only on the road. "I don't see much sympathy on my side of town," sing Bloodsworth and Buchhorn on "Preacher Preach," detailing the problems of settling in.
"It's a lot of the realistic-ness of life, a lot of the richness of say, 'I'm broke and I have to live that way,'" said Bloodsworth. "'I don't see much sympathy on my side of town,' that type of thing. Every-day-life-type-things."
"Preacher Preach" is the standout on the album, the type of psych rock single you can sell to TV audiences. With an attention-jacking guitar intro and impeccable drum fills, the tune settles into the groove like a flash flood, wiping out anything within its reach.
$5, 9:30pm Sat, July 18, Ritual Art Gallery, 514 El Paso, facebook.com/Ritualartgallery
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