The Fabulous Thunderbirds – On The Verge

Severn Records

Severn Records

My only quibble with the pre-release PR on The Fabulous Thunderbirds’ new album On The Verge is the reference to it being “a departure for the legendary blues rockers as they explore their soulful side.” Heck, as far as I’m concerned, the T-Birds might have been a blues band from the beginning but there’s always been a shot of soul at their elbow. (Go back and listen to hits like “Stand Back” – you tell me what you hear.) The point I want to make is this: On The Verge isn’t the work of old warhorses trying on a new outfit – the T-Birds’ soulmen suits fit them just fine.

Things get underway with “I Want To Believe”: angular guitars (Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller) weave with Kevin Anker’s keys as Randy Bermudes’ bass loops around Jason Moeller’s hard-snapping drums. “I want to believe things are gonna be alright,” sings Kim Wilson – and they are: the Thunderbirds work the tune’s groove (listen to Bermudes walk his bass’ neck with big ol’ rubbery steps) as Wilson testifies, sounding as good as he ever has. Everything shifts a gear as they hit the bridge at the 2:43 mark, suspended mid-air in a Stonesy “Miss You”-style shimmer and then … bawoomp bawoomp bawoomp bawoomp – the bass leads them into the finale. Cool? You bet yer ass it’s cool.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds Photo by Sam Holden

The Fabulous Thunderbirds Photo by Sam Holden

Click HERE to read the rest of my review on Jambands.com

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