RICK SAUNDERS REVIEW
The Bonnevilles are a grimy punk-infected rocknsoulblues duo out of Lurgan. Bonnevilles guitarist/singer Andy McGibbon day job is boss of Lurgan's Motor Sound Records which represents a stable of underground (if there is such a thing anymore) outsider blues and garage outfits from around the globe (check out my review of Motor Sounds wicked compilation Blood On The Scratch Plate '65). With their new release Good Suits and Fightin' Boots, The Bonnevilles announce their arrival as a band to reckoned with, feared, and loved.
McGibbon's voice is a gritty, sexy, early Danny Auerbach-ian soul machine. His guitar sound swings thick, heavy, and as tasteful as a saws-all with a new blade, at once vicious and keen-edged. McGibbon keeps the vibe hangin' low, feedback full, and on-point exact. Drummer Chris McMullan's work is burly...soulful like ironwood and it tears at the seams of McGibbon's vintage pinstriped pocket, primally adding what's sonically required and vital. As a team they give each other the needful room the music requires to breath, grind, wail, and shake.
Shall we get on to the album? Let's shall.
Hey! Bonnevilles! Who the fck starts out their first album with an instrumental? You do, ya bastards. That takes some cojones. But while Good Suits stands tall as a powerful eleven track filler-less collection of singles it also flows album-wise, weaving from the aforementioned instro One More Nail Outta Rock n' Rolls Coffin to the souped up garage stormer Army of One to the boogieass menace of title tracker Good Suits and Fightin' Boots. No Government, No Country, No King is a slow, tense politiblues burner which is followed by The Drag which sports a similar hot slow burning, if not sexier vibe and ends with the snip of a JFK speech. The centerpiece of this work, God Might Love Me (But He Doesn't Know Me Like The Devil Does) stands as one of the tracks I found myself playing repeatedly. McMullan's simple slow tribal toms match McGibbon's on-point grungy slide work to set a resigned yet menacing tone. Acoustic roots rocker I don't Like Whiskey is a blues redeemer. Super single C'Mon is a delicious hook filled head knocker and bottle buster with it's singalong chorus raisin' hell and fuss. The Belgians Are Coming is two minutes of Dick Dale-esque red tide dirty surf perfection. The set ends with the wicked live anthem Hardtale Lurgan Blues that smokes deep and hard from fit to fin. Like my man Dj Hillfunk says "it's a slow grower" but once I locked into the turbo charged souled-out grinding alt-blues sound of The Bonnevilles I was blown up and dusted. The Bonnevilles Good Suits and Fightin' Boots easily ranks high on my short list of best albums of the year.