Rocking the US since 2004, Left Lane Cruiser recently released their latest album, Junkyard Speedball. This is an excellent record that launches with a one-two punch of amazing music showcasing the entire spectrum of Left Lane Cruiser’s ability. The leadoff track, “Lost My Mind” is a fast, hard beating, heavy hitting, rock-stomp fun song. The second song, “Giving Tree” is a slow blues number in the vein of Clapton or early blues musicians like Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf.
Hard rock meets boogie-woogie southern blues. That is the best way to describe Left Lane Cruiser and their magnificent disc Junkyard Speedball. If Lynyrd Skynyrd paired up with Black Sabbath, or if the members of Aerosmith and the Allman Brothers Band formed a supergroup, Left Lane Cruiser’s Junkyard Speedball is what they would sound like. Southern blues meets hard rock and makes a happy marriage.
It’s hard to believe that only two guys are having this much fun making music. Fredrick “Joe” Evans IV handles the slide guitar and vocals while Brenn Beck does the drum work and harmonica. John Wesley Myers filled in all the keyboards for this record and only adds to the depth of the sound. Various studio musicians fill out the rest of the band. Evans and Beck did a fine job portraying their vision of music on Junkyard Speedball.
The blues jam influence is heavily apparent on “Hip-Hop,” which finds keyboardist John Wesley Myers showing off his chops in fine fashion. The groove on “Hip-Hop” is a slow vibe that draws the listener in and then leaves them in a swirl of fun, jam-based blues. The keyboard solo segues into a slide guitar solo from Evans creating a vibrant, moderate tempo jam that will find your body swaying back and forth to the beat.
Songs such as “24 Hour” and the aforementioned “Lost My Mind” show the heavier side of Left Lane Cruiser. “24 Hour” has an almost Black Sabbath-esque sound to it. The dark, distorted guitar and heavy drums are a welcome treat to metal lovers everywhere. Evans growls out the lyrics which consist of professing his love for all night fast food restaurants like White Castle, Taco Bell, and other greasy spoon establishments. While the song won’t receive any votes for lyrics of the year, it is still a happy tribute to the late night eateries of the USA.
What stands out most about Junkyard Speedball is the emotional reaction that the music tugs from the listener. The slow blues and southern rock beat communicate the pain on some songs and the fun on others that the band was going through while recording. Whether it’s the boogie-woogie stomp style of opener “Lost My Mind,” or the hard working, weepy blues style of later track “Pig Farm,” Left Lane Cruiser deliver the message with their music. When they want the listener to be happy, he’s happy. When they want the listener to have heartfelt emotion, he does. It’s the magic of their music that captivates the mind and soul of the music fans and makes Junkyard Speedball a worthy album.
Notable Tracks: “Giving Tree,” “Hip-Hop,” “Pig Farm”
Ryo’s Rating: 8 (out of 10)
Lost My Mind
At The Denny’s