Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Muggs - Straight Up Boogaloo

2015 – The Muggs
By Phillip Smith; April 11, 2015

Straight Up Boogaloo, the fourth studio album from Detroit rockers The Muggs, hit me like a 100 mph fastball launched by Alex Rodriguez.  Using a blues-fueled album-rock approach to music, the Muggs ( guitarist Danny Methric , bass player Tony DeNardo, and drummer Todd Glass) deliver their music with raw unbridled performances, oftentimes resembling that of Plant and Page.

There’s definitely a Led Zeppelin vibe hanging in the air on opener “Applecart Blues”. Vocals reminiscent of Robert Plant, and heavy driving guitar riffs, lure me right in.  Glass kills it on drums, keeping a powerful thundering beat going.  This one is on top of my list of favorites.  The guys keep the Zeppelin thing going on “Roger Over and Out A”, and “Roger Over and Out B”, an opus dedicated to the legendary sci-fi/horror film producer/director, Roger Corman.  Corman’s film titles and subject matter are cleverly woven into the lyrics, making these songs a treasure trove of Easter eggs.

Other songs seem to have more of a Black Sabbath/Ozzy feel.  “Spit and Gristle” falls into this category.  From the hypnotizing and infectious opening riff to the melodic vocals which just seem to linger in thin air, this track is a head-slammin’ balls-to-the-wall original. And then obviously falling into this category, is the equally impressive cover of Black Sabbath’s “Tomorrow’s Dream”, off the 1972 Vol. 4 album.  

The Muggs also take on early Fleetwood Mac, with the Peter Green penned “Rattlesnake Shake”.  Grittier and swampier than the original, this one is almost twelve minutes in length, and full of bluesy goodness.  Methric’s guitar playing makes this one a very interesting listen.  They score big again while tackling the Beatles’ “Yer Blues”.  It’s such a great song, and they nail it to the post.

Straight Up Boogaloo, impressive from start to end, is my favorite rock album of 2015 so far. 

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