Despite being hampered by a noisy production that sometimes muddies the album’s sound – at least on the review MP3s that I was sent – Las Vegas natives the Jeff Carlson Band do enough on their new album Yesterdays Gone to suggest they’ve got something pretty good going on here.
Big ballad Promise The Moon is a real spine tingler, whilst the album’s title track is a rock solid slab of melodic metal that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Tesla album from the late eighties. Band leader Carlson has a classic voice for this kinda stuff, and he’s surrounded himself with a band that makes all the right moves in creating a real eighties mood within which his songs really thrive.
The anthemic Fire is another highlight, slightly reminiscent of Tyketto at their heaviest, and comes equipped with a blazing, raw edged solo from lead guitarist Robbie Wolfe who makes some telling contributions throughout the album. Enemy Within is a little more progressive – and certainly much heavier, coming across a little like mid-period Queensrÿche musically – but overall the band sit comfortably within the old school arena rock niche, thankfully not really trying to add any modern twists but concentrating on blasting out no-holds barred, well written, gritty hard rock.
Over My Shoulder is dramatic, epic stuff, building through the gears before exploding into a glorious chorus, whilst hair metal fans will be interested to note that helium-voiced throatsmith Mark Slaughter makes an appearance on bonus track LaDo Da; However, it’s clear that the band don’t need celebrity legups when they can come up with brilliant stuff like American Dream, which sounds like a delirious mix of Kiss and Humble Pie and is one of the slices of American hard rock this reviewer has heard in a long, long, time.
I mentioned the word ‘niche’ earlier in this review; unfortunately that’s what the market for this kind of music has become in 2021, but, within that area, it’s hard to see anything bettering this release in 2021 for pure songpower and joi de vivre. In the end great songs will out, and this band has some of the best you’ll hear all year.
Yesterdays Gone releases on April 23rd.