Written By Benny Henderson Jr.
Palestine is nestled in the piney woods of East Texas. Best known for its parks, lakes, festivals, historic sites, and The Texas Railroad, the town has also produced some notable top legendary names.
It is the home of the country great, Gene Watson, as well as the 7X Pro-Bowl NFL Running Back, Adrian Peterson, and it is the birthplace of the rising rock band, Blacktop Mojo. Who is taking the rock world by storm!
In 2014, the guys released their debut album, “I Am”, which was filled with ten tunes that most definitely did not sound like a freshman band. Their follow up, “Burn The Ships” hit the airwaves in 2017 and only proved that the band was more than a one night stand in the rock world. Now, coming up September 13th, the rock world needs to brace themselves for, “Under The Sun”!
The band’s third helping of music is yet another testament of what Blacktop Mojo is doing to the rock world, [which is] just that, rocking the masses with their brand of Texas Rock!
By now most have heard the band’s first single, “Can’t Sleep”, which at the point this review was being put together, was ranked #34 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Top 40, their third single to chart.
Now, when you throw in the CD, or stream the album when it is released, you are in for a special treat. Although the band still features that Blacktop Mojo sound, with the addition of guitarist, Chuck Wepfer, the band is a bit heavier, harder, and has a bit more edge and grit to their tone.
The first track on the album, “Lay It On Me”, is a perfect example of the harder vibe in which the album throws out to the listeners. As usual, the vocals are extremely powerful, and as I have stated before, the listener will not only hear the melodies, they will feel the music.
The one thing that differs from the other two BTM albums is you will not get that traditional ballad, such as “Why” or “Prodigal.” The boys took a different direction, and a perfect lane change if you ask me.
Tracks. “It Won’t Last”, and “The Lashing (Ghost)”, are more of a melodic bluesy feel, and is drenched with the cries of screaming guitars, hard thumping drums, rich bass, with powerful lyrics and heart stopping vocals.
This album features all sorts of emotions in it’s lyrics; good love gone bad, forbidden love, feelings that won’t last, whiskey that’s good for the soul but heavy on the head, and a lady who cannot keep it down during the process of some serious love making.
The band has not lost their edge, they have only sharpened their tools and like a fine wine, is getting better with time. Vocalist, Matt James believes that experience and hard work was the key to creating a damn good album for the fans. “I feel like the fans will dig our growth and progression from the last two albums to this one.” Matt also explains. “We worked day in and day out for a long time to put together an album that people, as well as our fans, will be proud of.”
I am not going to try to describe this album by using other bands and their sound, because although you could possibly say, hey this song has that (Insert Band Name) feel to it, it would not do BTM any justice. Because their sound is the Blacktop Mojo sound. Straight up in your face, unapologetic, relentless, as well as heartfelt and real.
And trust me, when a fan of Blacktop Mojo gets their hands on this album, they will be proud they are a fan. And to the newcomers, jump on the wagon now, because in the near future when people mention the small East Texas town of Palestine, it will be best known as the home of its lakes, parks, The Texas Railroad, and, the birthplace of one of the kick ass band’s in rock, Blacktop Mojo.
Release Date: September 13, 2019