If rock ‘n’ roll ever needed a kick in the pants, it’s now. Fortunately, Mascot Label Group has delivered yet another group of American southern rockers who can fill the need for that sweet classic southern rock, a la THE ALLMAN BROTHERS or THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND, known as THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS. Hailing from Rome, Georgia, this band released their self-titled debut EP on August 21st, 2020.
The album opens with “Looking for an Old Friend,” which was immediately reminiscent of old classics like “Sweet Home Alabama” in style and sound, but made unique by TJ Lyle‘s fresh, modern classic rock vocals. “So You Wanna Change the World” is a lyrically powerful song that hits that beautiful sweet spot where guitars dance the line between country and rock, winning points for both nostalgia and not pandering to popular music stylings.
“Lend a Hand” is the shortest track, led by a pounding drum underlying a strong guitar line, leading smoothly into the easy vocals of Lyle, with a great, powerful, positive chorus; a great choice for a single. The EP slows down a bit with “Spirit of a Workin’ Man,” which is classic rock in theme and vibe, though this is the most modern-sounding rock song they have to offer, showing a different side of their sound that works equally well. “Set Me Free” then closes things up with it’s very laid-back groove, showing a slower, funkier side to the band. This covers one of the last corners of American southern rock, with just a slight hippy vibe and a bit of country sound in the guitar, with classic rock soloing, perfectly melting together into a great EP closer.
This is the kind of album that I not only want to listen to repeatedly (and wish it had come out earlier in the summer), but it’s also an album that I want to get for my dad, who was all about LYNYRD SKYNYRD and the EAGLES and all that guitar-driven classic rock from the ’70s and ’80s. THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS have managed to perfectly capture an era and sound, without sounding painfully derivative; rather, they maintain a unique sound with a touch of modernness here and there to add flavor to the nostalgic perfection. This self-titled EP is fully of spirit and passion and I for one will be very enthusiastic to see what they come up with next.
Written by Bear Wiseman
- Looking for an Old Friend
- So You Wanna Change the World
- Lend a Hand
- Spirit of a Workin’ Man
- Set Me Free
Mascot Label Group
Interview with messier — “There’s only three of us, so we have to make it count and get the sound as big as we can.”