Knick Knack Records

Go figure: imagine a sound that combines the Texas grease and grit of Fandango! -era ZZ Top; the swamp hoodoo of Creedence at their trippiest; the ass-pocketful-of-whiskey-and-headful-of-something-else sway of Jon Spencer; and the wump of John Lee Hooker’s stomping left foot.

Coming from a band out of Seattle, WA.


Who knew?

Not enough folks, that’s for sure. Psychedelta is the third album from the Seattle-based trio GravelRoad and the fact that they aren’t more well-known than they are is an absolute somebody-should-pay crying shame. Members Martin Reinsel (drums), Jon Newman (guitar, bass, drums, vox), and Stefan Zillioux (guitar, vox) are not only good at making their music – raw and bluesy around the edges with a core of solid groove – they’re good at making it real. The essence of all the names dropped above (and more) is there without GravelRoad ever sounding like they’re trying to sound like anything or anybody.

The road dust and rust spots on the fenders of GravelRoad’s sound aren’t props, boys and girls; those came from honest miles. Amps squawk, squeal, snap, and bite because they’re being pushed – not because of some factory preset. Things stink in the finest of ways.

How many bands could launch into the first verse of the _first damn track _ on their album with “Well, I woke up this morning …” and not have it sound like a cliché? GravelRoad can – “Devil Eyes” is the proof; all glasspack-and-whitewall cool burble and Howlin’ Wolf bellow. Give that devil a beer, fer chrissakes.

“More greasy nastiness!” you cry. Slather yourself with “Leave Her Alone”, “Keep On Movin’” or “Deep Blues”.

“Southern-fried sweetness!” you demand. Dig into the slide guitar-infused roll-and-tumble of “Furry” or the sexy piano/guitar rub of “In The Woods” featuring guests Brian Olive on the keys and Tom Meyers on some tasty hand percussion.

“Feed my head!” you beg. Crawl into “Caves” where wisps of Jiminess swirl and dance to an unhurried, miles-deep melody.

“Make me ache!” you plead. Well, that’s what the slow blues trudge of the album-closing “I Was Alone” is there for.

And when you get to the end of that, turn around and do it again. Damn straight.