Reviews

Lord Nelson’s Transmission


By Brian Rock

Americana rockers, Lord Nelson, return with their third album, Transmission. Following the trail blazed by Old 97s and Uncle Tupelo, Lord Nelson plays hard rockin’ country. Or cowpunk. Or straight-ahead americana. Whatever you call it, Lord Nelson creates a high energy blend of rock, country and blues with just a touch of funk.

“Tooth and Nail,” opens the album with an irresistible, 90s Alt Rock guitar riff with a haunting, pedal steel note wavering in the background. The combination of assertion and uncertainty creates a musical tension that perfectly suits the theme of unconditional love in the face of repeated poor decisions. Despite a series of misguided actions committed by a loved one (the song is unclear whether it’s a child, a lover or a friend,) the band asserts, “This old world is bound to see you fail. But I love you tooth and nail.” Pledging their unconditional love, the band uses “Bulletproof” era Reckless Kelly rhythms to assert the power of their love to cover a multitude of sins.

The energy of that first song permeates the whole album. A touring band that was forced to stay at home for two years accumulated quite a bit of pent-up energy. They decided to channel that energy into a “live in the studio” recording session. Consequently, this album captures the energy of their live performances. With soaring guitar work, pounding drums, and barroom ready, sing along choruses, Lord Nelson gives you a front row seat to their show.

“Putting In The Time,” is a celebration of their touring days. Remarking that, “people, they got names, but the cities look the same,” the band recalls the ups and downs of life on the road. With Duane Allman style slide guitar punctuated by playful cymbal taps, the song rolls along like a tour van headed for the next gig. “Cheap Red Wine,” captures the power blues of early 70’s icons Faces and Foghat. “Julia,” incorporates Black Crowes, Southern rock rhythms to overcome the challenges of a difficult relationship. “Country Desperation,” brings in the heavy blues sound of Gov’t Mule to convey the small town boredom that leads to the consequences-be-damned pursuit of excitement. “Broken Part,” invokes the Southern funk of Little Feat. “Hell or High Water” and “Drag Me Down” recall 90”s indie rockers like Vigilantes of Love and Spin Doctors. “Burn It Down,” tells a sordid tale of revenge in swampy Blues tones with Billy Gibbons style guitar licks. The album transmits power and energy with every chord. Like their historical namesake, Lord Nelson packs a punch! 

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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