Thursday, October 6, 2022

Album Review: GA-20 - Crackdown

*** out of *****

The third studio album from the Boston, MA based blues trio GA-20, titled Crackdown on Colemine Records, recalls a bunch of retro sounds as the band dips in and out of traditional blues styles. 

In the vein of The Black Keys, the group, Matthew Stubbs: guitar, Pat Faherty: vocals, guitar, Tim Carman: drums, use their two guitar, no bass, riffing to power through electro rocking blues with modern precision and throwback style. 

The groovy electro opener buzzes to set the tone as "Fairweather Friend" uses "oh-oh's" and corresponding riffs to punch out the kicked up style, before switching musical inspirations to bookend the album with a haunting acoustic based version of the same song that drips with despair; a neat trick. The weepy "Dry Run" has a touch of Hill Country blues in the vein of The North Mississippi All-Stars and slow rolling "Easy On The Eyes" flashes great guitar tones. 

Some of the brief efforts are pleasant but instantly forgettable ("Double Gettin'") but the groups foray into the Freddie King like roadhouse instrumental title track is a winner as is the '50's inspired sweet soda jerk sounding "Just Because". The thumping/vibrating "I Let Someone In", the quick swinging "By My Lonesome" and the heavy drumming of "Gone For Good" are all solid retro blues offerings if far from life changing.     

GA-20 are traditionalists and Crackdown is a clear love letter to an era of electric blues from the past, but quite a few bands are dabbling in this style these days. The trio does all of the attempted styles, tones and "been done wrong" lyrical feelings justice over the ten short, solid outings on this release. 
Support the artists, buy the album, peep some video below:

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