It's been awhile since a record has come out of nowhere and bowled me over as mercilessly as these Ohio youngsters' debut has. I really didn't know what to expect when the thing came in the post. The cover was pretty nondescript. I had seen some blurbs on the internet linking this to some early seventies boogie, but in this day in age, what do those descriptions really mean? I mean... I read a thousand descriptions a day comparing loads of present day, limited edition seven-inchers to some of my all time favorite bands and I've just become numb to them. The bitter old man in me chalks all those releases up as stuff done by over-stimulated youngsters with too much time, money and technology on their hands to replicate the same thing some guy made in his bedroom thirty years ago out of necessity, desperation and brute economics. The question as to if the luck of time cheapens these kids output is an issue too multi-headed to get into right now. All I know is anyone with half a brain can tell the pure of heart from those who want to be gawked at and be buddies with the guys from The Dum Dum Dogs or whatever. As you would expect, Mount Carmel fall into the former category...

But back to this record! When I eventually put it on, I did this double-take and watched it spin in wondrous glory on the turntable all the way through completely dumbfounded I was hearing something so genuine. I spun it about three or four more times that day and it wasn't until the fifth listen I actually gave a shit as to who these guys were and why they made such a great record. Prior to that, I was too wrapped up in actually enjoying the thing to even care. The sound is steeped in the British interpretation of the Blues from the early seventies (if the cover of Ten Years After “Hear Me Calling” wasn't a dead giveaway) and I can give you a laundry list of comparisons if you want 'em. Guitarist/vocalist Matt Reeds voice sounds as sweet and soulful as Terry Reids and the guitar tone on this thing would make a nation of sweaty, bald Psych collectors (Hello!) dropkick their OG Holyground pressings into the nearest trash heap. And let's not forget bass player Pat Reed and drummer Kevin 'Young Buck' Skubak locking horns like Redding/Mitchell, Bruce/Baker and any other kick ass power trio rhythm section. But what does all that name checking do? Does it make you wanna buy the thing? Well... good then! I guess I did my job.

The thing is, after all that huffing and puffing, I still don't think I've done this record justice. Words like "pure" and "real" and "authentic" only go so far, but they get the point across (hopefully) Words like "retro" and "fuzz" and "beard" are the words used by dips who don't understand magic as a timeless formula. If you're that type...go away. We don't need ya. [Siltbreeze]

- Tony Rettman



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