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bakerton.jpgThe Bakerton Group
El Rojo
Weathermaker Music

From the first ringing guitar lines of the intro to opener “Time Horizon” I liked this album. I was hoping some serious, instrumental, surf action would kick in, but some serious, instrumental, rock action kicked in instead. I went to Google’s image search expecting to find some dudes rocking Dick Dale tribute ponytails, but instead it’s a bunch of beer-bellied bearded guys who would look more appropriate at a high school football game than on a surfboard, yet there they are on a beach overlooking a pier.

Wait…beer-bellied, bearded guys…who have opened for Clutch…a little more digging…HEY! These guys ARE Clutch. That would explain the high school football fan look, Clutch is from my neck of the woods– Appalachia (the tri-state area of Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia in their case, Southern West Virginia in mine). Their sound is only slightly reminiscent of Clutch though. This is far more bluesy and improvisational. I could completely see them on the Bonnaroo lineup, and if they were they would blow all those trust fund hippies out of the water ‘cause Trey Anastasio ain’t got the kinda soul required to play like this. This shit is like Uriah Heep, brother, only better.

Not to mention album cover of the year. Fuck, this is supposed to be an album review. Check it, I can’t tell you if one song was better than another because they all flow right into the next one and they’re all incredible. I will say this – things get really trippy on “Work’em” and I’m fairly certain the title refers to what the band wants to do to the listener. That’s certainly what this gem did to me.

–Luke Toney