Bourbon Train – First Stop

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Bourbon Train is a bit deceiving at first, a band that zags instead of zigs but ends up in a good place nonetheless.  Coming into to this release, I expected more of a sweaty mix of heavy blooze riffs and vocals that would veer more toward a plodding stoner blues sound.  I am happy to report that my assumptions were quickly dashed by the aptly titled First Stop.  It takes about a minute for the band to kick into a high energy opening riff carried swiftly by bassist Andy Shaw and drummer Justin Kaplan’s steady gallop.  Travis Anderson’s vocal delivery comes in somewhere between James Gang era Joe Walsh and an amped up Bob Hite from Canned Heat although a bit more unhinged (in a good way).

First Stop is the first proper release by the Columbus Ohio band and brings with it a tight sound that can only be built through late nights on a barroom stage or rehearsal space.  Whiskey Litch is built around a serpentine blues riff that rises and falls between huge solos by Casey Haubach and Tyler Lust.  End of the Line is the heaviest track on the album with double bass and heavy riffage to spare.  Bourbon Train defies expectations on this first release with a muscular sound and velocity that creates a unique blues-based heavy rock release.

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