Mellow Bravo is the redheaded stepchild of the Small Stone roster, the outcast whose self-titled second album came attached with the following statement from the label: This is NOT stoner rock. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be scared or excited; it’s like going to a steakhouse and being told I wouldn’t be served a bleeding slab of meat. I mean, I love steak, but the unknown alternative could be just as satiating. So, what is Mellow Bravo if not a stoner rock band? Well, they’re dark blues foragers, hard rock hucksters, a sextet of rum running rock n’ roll pirates from Boston adept at seizing all kinds of loot in some very deep waters. They’re Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Black Mountain, Thee Hypnotics, Beasts of Bourbon, Zen Guerrilla, and Slash all at once, if you can imagine it, and tear through ragged harp (“Sad Sam”), aggressive riffing (“Ridin”), cowboy ballad (“Senorita”), temperamental slide (“Love Hammer”), and back porch folk (“Prairie Dog”) with all the sizzle and strut of rock gods going home to roost. The depth of sound and soul found on Mellow Bravo must truly be heard because it contains so many undefinable elements, but basically this is the kind of guitar driven gusto that plays well from campfires to stadiums and any dive bar in between. And that’s saying nothing of the band’s ace in the hole, organist/vocalist Jess Collins, who adds all the smoke to this star-tickling fire. So, it turns out I was supposed to be excited. I am.
Listen to “Sad Sam” from Mellow Bravo!
Posted by Jeff on Apr 2 2012 in Reviews Tags: aggressive, ballad, bar, Beasts of Bourbon, Black Mountain, bleeding, blues, Boston, campfire, cowboy, dark, fire, folk, harp, hucksters, Jess Collins, Love Hammer, Meat, Mellow Bravo, outcast, pirates, Prairie Dog, ragged, Ridin, riff, rock n' roll, Sad Sam, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Senorita, sizzle, slash, slide, Small Stone, smoke, soul, stadium, star, stoner, strut, temperamental, Thee Hypnotics, Zen Guerrilla