Music is like language, it comes with an accent. No matter how much we move into alt- this and post- that territory, no matter how much music invents new labels, new genres, new identities for itself, some things are unmistakeable. The language of music is the groove, and though they may be a young and fairly new band, The Wentzel Brothers Band have an unmistakable southern groove and they have it in spades. It isn’t a sound you can just learn, not totally authentically anyway, its core sound comes from deep down in the DNA of the player.
Shadow of the Mountain is a raw, blues and bluegrass infused salvo of roots rock, sometimes raw and ferocious, sometimes groovesome and full of country swing, melodic but edgy, occasionally brutal but always honest. It swaggers along with a cool stride rather than rushes to get the job done and is filled with musical motifs and sonic signatures that places them way south of the Mason-Dixon line.
That said, there is nothing parochial going on here, this is universal music, music which takes in all that is good, solid, cool and deftly conceived about rock music. It takes its time, revels in groove over gimmick and the result is a awesome slice of powerful, purposeful and slightly predatory, prowling rock. It tips its cap to some iconic forebears, from Skynard to The Allman Brothers to The Black Crowes and from classic rock to alt-country cool.
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