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Big John Bates

Titel / Title Battered Bones 
Label Rookie Records 
Total run time
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Keep the Whiskey in arms´ reach and get on your cowboys boots. Big John Bates get out their new album Battered Bones and they wanna see us dancin´. On September 29th, the new disc of the westcoast Canadians will be released and I´m tellin´you something, people: Get tight your diapers and buy that album! For two days Battered Bones is on continuous rotation in my player.

Of course, in Germany, you certainly are immediately reminded of The Boss Hoss, when hearing these sounds but that impression goes up in smoke quite fast because Big John Bates come across as absolutely authentic. Already with the first title, I Don´t Believe, the guitar work of John Bates attracts some attention and with the next slightly weird track, Wide Open Blues, you want to look for an old horse to ride over the wide open plains – just in a positive sense, of course. Next comes Scarecrow Close and it´s a rather slow swinger, inviting you to nod your head in time. The title track is next, an instrumental with an accordion in the back that also acts as the intro to the next song.

Listening to Big John Bates reminds me of all those things that have to do with Tarantino, Tequila and Titty Twister. Next song is Circadian Rhythm, a good classy song sung by Brandi. Playing an upright bass and singing at the same time, is certainly not really easy. Hellfire Remedy follows up and for me, it´s one of the highlights of this album – it´s just a little bit too short, maybe. Next up is Break the Ghost, the very beautifully sung Glossilalia and Murky Water, which has quite some hit song potential. Engine Room, the most ordinary title yet and a fantastically and melancholically sung So Solemn finish an absolute great album. I think I should take a look at the back catalogue of this formation pretty soon.

In the end, the album has just one little shortcoming – when you turn up the volume, the bass sometimes roars horribly. Nevertheless, Battered Bones is worth 8,5 deers to me.

Björn Schmiterlöw

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