Monday, July 27, 2015

The Rightovers - Blue Blood

Recording as The Rightovers, Chris Holmes draws a bulls eye on July 31, the internationally recognized heart of the summer, and then fires a burning arrow into it with Blue Blood.  The guitars jangle and crunch, the harmonies sooth your soul, and the hooks fill the air like fireflies on a summer night near the lake.  There are ten songs marinated in Rickenbacker jangle and cured in the sun, and picking your favorite is like trying to decide among your ten favorite desserts.  Chris may be based in Hawaii at the moment, but there is a clear vein of his former Southern California residence here.  "Valerie" is the perfect opener, with an uptempo melody and Chris' versatile vocals shifting between his ordinary register and falsetto.  "Country Canyon" follows with a country-inflected rocker.  We catch our breath a bit with the sweet mid-tempo "Vaseline" before sliding into two of my favorites, "So Famous I'm Fucked", which seems to me to have a bit of the old New Zealand '80s-'90s vibe, and the wonderful "My Trebly Underground", which lets you know what would have happened if The Jesus and Mary Chain had played with The Byrds.

The band's cover of the Mekons' "Hello Cruel World" provides another dose of guitar grumble.  Sun-kissed California jangle returns for "Arthurs Army" and "We Can Run/A Piper's Lament".  "Floating Near the Sun" finds The Rightovers in a psychedelic frame of mind.  The closer offers a tantalizing dose of additional variety with a funky psychedelic jam.

It would be too easy to simply tout this album as a welcome addition to your summer soundtrack.  But to my ears it is more than that.  These songs are going to live with me beyond Labor Day, and I'm going to hope for more music from The Rightovers.

For Blue Blood Chris was assisted by Sarah O'Brien (backing vocals) and Mike Kamoo (drums).  Limited vinyl and unlimited digital are available via the band's own Bandcamp and Jigsaw Records.  Jigsaw also has the album in CD format.  All necessary links are below.

The Rightovers on Bandcamp
Jigsaw Records page for CD or vinyl
Bandcamp page for digital/CD/vinyl

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