It’s not very often that a Southern Rock/Metal release comes through my listening queue. Yet, I still received the debut album from BAIL entitled “A Bolt From The Blue." A rather low key and Stoner-ish Southern swag album of Rock style, this release certainly knows what it wants to sound like and it sticks to it. If any of the above adjectives peak your interest, then check out BAIL.
As a whole, the album chugs along with Hard Rock consistency. Chugging Rock riffs give way to bluesy leads and solos (not unlike what BLACK LABEL SOCIETY uses, for those of you looking for a more Metal comparison) with a solid booming bass guitar that rattles through occasionally. The lead vocals croon and rasp their way through, giving the album a sort of Grunge tone that’s most noticeable on the opener “What Doesn’t Kill” and will pull in some fans of that 90s Rock material.
The main fault with “A Bolt From The Blue” isn’t concerning their bluesy Southern swing or occasional Country roots that bleed through (they even throw a Bluegrass banjo track to end the album with “Back To The Roots”), but their lacking ability to write solid hooks. They have the foundations of the sound down, but they need to add in more vocal hooks or leads to really catch the listener. It would increase the memorablility of the album 10 fold and perhaps throw them up into a league with bands like BLACK STONE CHERRY.
As is, “A Bolt From The Blue” is a rocking fun album of Southern proportions. It hits all the details it needs to (sans the hooks) and fans of the genre will find tracks and moments to really enjoy with their beer in hand.
(Online July 20, 2011)