JOHN THE CONQUEROR
John The Conqueror
First album by scuzz-rock trio who are based in Philadelphia but have their roots in Mississippi.
They sound so much like The Black Keys that they could be mistaken for a BKs tribute band. They’re far from the first act whose influences are transparent on their early recordings, though. And, taken at face value apart from any comparison to the omnipresent Keys, this is just a fine punk-blues rock record that sounds like The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion if JSBX were from the Mississippi delta.
It’s all smokestacks, greasy ball bearings, mudslides, and corn liquor swilled from mason jars; raggedly scorching guitar riffs, a thunderous rhythm section, and howled vocals. ‘Say What You Want’ rockets me off my rear every time. I’d like to see them establish more of an individualized identity on their next outing, but this is a hell of an impressive debut.