Album Review: J. Roddy Walston & The Business – J. Roddy Walston & The Business

Just when you think you have heard it all, along comes something new, something that I just have to talk about.  Every once in a while, a band drops an album good and so different that once it hits my ears, all I can do is play it over and over.  Recently, rather this past summer, I was introduced to a band that had me going crazy for more.  The band I speak of is J. Roddy Walston & The Business.  If you have not heard of this band already you are missing out (I may say that a lot, but in this one instance I mean it).

So who do they sound like?  Imagine the Beatles, the Kinks, Queen, Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin, and throw in some Jerry Lee Lewis.  There are far more comparisons to be used, but the previously mentioned bands were first to come to my mind.  From beginning to end the band’s self-titled sophomore album on Vagrant Records, J. Roddy Walston & The Business does not let up.  It’s a bare-boned non-overproduced album that leaves any listener hungry for more.

J. Roddy Walston?  More like J. Roddy Awesome…

The moment the piano started on “Don’t Break The Needle”, I knew I was in for something good. The hoot-hollering track full of dark references of addiction carries on with laughter in the singing, pounding piano playing, and guitar playing that’ll easily peer pressure the listener into wanting more.

“Used To Did” simply rocks.  With lyrics like “I got this gun girl, it don’t miss, it makes babies,” how could you not agree?  From J. Roddy’s broken-record lyricism to the heavy shedding guitar playing, this track is all about not caring and Rock ‘n Roll.  Just watch out for that gun.

My favorite track on the album hands down was “Brave Man’s Death”.  Happy as it may seem while listening to, the song itself tells of a selfish dysfunctional life lesson no one should ever be subject to.  Still, I have found myself on more than one occasion screaming the chorus at the top of my lungs alone and with friends.  It is a refreshing song when the moral of the story catches up with you, but until you get there you will be lost.

Easily an instant classic, “I Don’t Wanna Hear It” has everything included in a track to be liked by anyone who fathoms themselves a music lover – a southern rock jam, group vocals, and a bad ass attitude.  Continuing with that feeling was the closing track “Use Your Language” a twangy track that made me want to clap my hands, stomp my foot, and sing along.

I really should have had this review done months and months ago, but all excuses aside, this Baltimore foursome (originally hailing from Cleveland, TN) has been in regular daily rotation since the day the album hit my hands over the summer.  J. Roddy Walston & The Business has become an instant Rock ‘n Roll album that I will spin for years to come.

Having only caught one live song by them this past Fall when they opened for Shooter Jennings (I literally arrived just as the band played their set-ending song) I can tell you this: The band rocks on so many levels.  The excitement that that foursome bled onto the crowd made me smile.  I am sure that hardly any of the crowd knew who J. Roddy Walston & The Business was when they entered the Beachland Ballroom that rainy October night, but I know they left with something that tasted ever so good to their ears. I was there, I know they liked it…

J Roddy Walston and The Business – Don’t Break The Needle from Vagrant Records on Vimeo.

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