Bottle Rockets: Zoysia

Bottle Rockets
Zoysia
(Bloodshot)

It is a mystery to this writer why the Bottle Rockets are not more well-known or more popular. They are the quintessential American music guitar band. Granted, these are relatively bizarre times in the already strange land commonly called “the music business,” but it’s all here: good songs, good singing and lots of interesting guitar sounds. New members John Horton (guitar) and Keith Voegele (bass) are fully integrated, and Zoysia is a definite and strong return for the band.

Bandleader Brian Henneman is one of the best undiscovered true rock ‘n’ roll singers out there. When he sings “Happy Anniversary,” see if your heart doesn’t break in to many little pieces. “Mountain To Climb” starts with their patented Lynard Skynyrd meets Neil Young twin guitars (with a nod to George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”) and features the great couplet “you’re a mountain to climb and I love to keep tumblin’ down.” They do happy, sad-eyed, regular Joe, sarcastic (see “Align Yourself”) and all points in between.

Then there is the title track. This is an epic song beginning with a jaunty country two-step groove that belies the somewhat deeper nature of the lyrics. Then the band takes off on a big bang of rock jam recalling the glory days of Young’s “Down By The River” and “Cowgirl In The Sand” that we can’t wait to hear the extended version live.

Look, like we said, this is great and you really need to hear this if you are fan of Americana, Roots, Alt. this or that, Twangcore, or god knows what else that is everything American (and we are talking rock ‘n’ roll, not showbiz tonight) – get behind this band and get yourself one fine rock LP, Zoysia. Enuff said.