I have often sang the praises of simple music, music that relies on grooves, riffs and good old fashioned rock ‘n rolling instead of fancy productions or complex instrumental arrangements. The kind of music that can get you on your feet with just a few simple instruments, or in the case of Low Volts, a slide guitar and kick drum.
Low Volts is a one man blues rock band helmed by Tim Lowman of Southern California. Playing in a similar vein to The Dead Guys, Low Volts is a simple distillation of rock and blues, into one potent blend of musical moonshine. The debut album, “Twist, Shake, Grind, Break” was released in May of 2011 and contains 10 tracks of bluesy drawl and one of the tastiest guitar tones I’ve heard in a long time.
Lets start with that tone shall we? As I’m not a musician I can’t tell you anything specific or technical about the setup, playing style or what have you. All I have is the listeners perspective and from this perspective there’s nothing as absolutely ear wetting as a tone so thick you can chew it, slathered with a generous helping of southern molasses just to make it that much sweeter. It’s the kind of tone that rattles windows and wakes babies, twanging and banging it’s way through your brain.
It’s this guitar tone that forms the foundation for this music. It demands your attention, luring you into it’s sultry sweetness. The steady stomp provided by the kick drum is just an accompaniment, something to tap your foot too and keep the groove grounded. From this impenetrable base Low Volts barrages you with a drawling vocal line, soaked in booze, drugs and cigarettes.
From start to finish, “Twist, Shake, Grind, Break” grabs you by the bootstraps and drags you into the swamp, the kind of swamp that even if you wanted to escape from, you probably couldn’t. It’s up for 10 bones on Bandcamp, which is all that separates you from a heaping plate of southern fried blues.