Notes From Underground

Album Review: BLACK COFFEE – Take One

21 April 2018 | Independent Release

black coffeeI have to be honest with you my sweet snickerdoodles, when I heard the intro of the first song I received from this band, I did not fall instantly in love.  Now as you know, true everlasting love can take a couple minutes to form, and that’s about how long I took for me to pledge my undying love to this band.   I am the Metalchick, so sometimes it can take me a bit to warm up to bands that are not categorized as “Metal”, but as long as the band is oozing with talent, I become enamored. This band, Black Coffee, is just such a band.  Categorized as an “American Rock  Band” this Columbus Ohio trio, is a prime example that “Retro Rock” is alive and more badass than ever.  For those of you playing along at home, “Retro Rock”, to me, is a band that sounds like they came right off of a dusty vinyl record from my parent’s attic.   “Black Coffee ” even states “We are a band that writes, records, and plays like it’s 1972. This album represents what we believe is real, raw music. No click tracks, no triggers, and no pitch correction. Just a bunch of hippies in a room.”  in their bio.  The only wording I would change in that quote would be to add “uber-talented musician” in front of the word “hippies”.  The album, “Take One” is a proverbial breath of fresh air, filled with root oriented true rock rifts and soul-infused composition.  Think the soundtrack of one of my favorite movies, “Dazed and Confused” and you have the very essence of the band Black Coffee.

Track #1 and #2 are a combo meal.  “Creamer” intro’s “I Barely Know Her”, the first single off the April 20th release.  I eluded to my feeling about this first song already, but let me caution you again, do not base your opinion of this band off of the first few seconds of the intro.   I would like to believe you rock n roll rapscallions know better than to do that, but just in case, let “Creamer” play into “I Barely Know her” and you will hear what I hear.  The sure power and unbridled passion in lead singer/bassist Ehab Omran’s vocals.   This song just oozes sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, the breakfast of champions.

“Hurricane”, track number 3, kicks of with a great rock-a-billy-esque groove. Lyrics are fun and catchy, but it is the absolutely astounding guitar solo in the bridge by Justin Young, that stood out to me.  Young plays like he is one with his axe, fluent, aggressive and flawless.

Track #4, “Monica”, has a great funkadelic beat, with a sweet frickin bass line.  Love the minor chord transitions and the “shout out” chorus.

The 5th track, “Born to Lie”, opens with the best lyrics ever,  “Mama, I’m real sorry I’m a stoner”.  Great upbeat tempo with an infectious groove.

“The Traveler”, track #6, is bluesy and bittersweet.  A splendid soul-baring expression of regret poignantly delivered with a melancholy reflection by singer Omran.

I knew track #7, “Psychedelic Red”, was going to be a fun romp just by the jaunty guitar intro.  The whole song seems to say ” I screwed up again, but it was a blast, so who cares”.  The bass line is magnificently thought out and steals the show.

Track #8, “Fade”, finally gave me a great feel for drummer Tommy McCullough and his impressive “Bonham-like” percussive attack.  McCullough definitely was the bell of this ball, stealing the spotlight with his baddassedness.

The final track,”Away”, reveals Black Coffee’s inner jam band.  The entire track obviously comes from deep within the pool of joy playing music gives these 3 guys.  This song is proof positive that these guys do this because their craft is the lifeblood that keeps them thriving.

Alright my little dew drops, that is my humble opinion on “Take One”, the 2018 nine-track release by Black Coffee.  I may be the Metalchick, but my roots are in rock and roll, so heed my words and invite “Black Coffee” into your life this very second.   I know some of you all are a tad lazy about finding band stuff on your own, so just click on the links and you shall be rewarded with all things Black Coffee.


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