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J. Roddy Walston & The Business - Don't Break The Needle
Jun 27, 2013
Total plays:
145 times
Why do we like this?
I liked J. Roddy Walston & The Business from the moment I heard the punchy opening chords of their tune "Don't Break The Needle," and even more when the growling, shrieking, rasping vocals of J. Roddy himself came crashing in.

But if you ask me, a rock 'n' roll band is only as good as their live show. By this measure, J. Roddy Walston and his backing back, The Business, have got to be one of the best bands I've seen of late. In brief: their steamy, sweaty set melted faces and shook the walls of the packed-to-the gills Mercury Lounge Tuesday night.

Equal parts southern rock, Americana, and T.Rex glam, J. Roddy not only sold out the room, they worked the crowd into a veritable lather. There's something pulsing about steamy-hot New York summer nights in general; adding licking guitar solos and bang-out piano action and you've got the makings for one hell of a chemical reaction.

Not that this crowd needed much encouragement. A pulsing wave of raised fists crowded the stage, with hearty sing-a-longs ensuing to tracks off of the band's self-titled 2010 release, including glamazon rock anthem"Full Growing Man," the balls-out headbanger "Don't Break The Needle" (a veritable nod to Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Kings of Leon before they started sucking), and "I Don't Want To Hear It," a good-humored middle finger of a tune that had the room "Ohhh-ohhh-ohhhhh!"-ing in unison.

Perhaps even more exciting was the sample of songs off their upcoming release, Essential Tremors (out September 10). Digging into a sometimes grungy, heavily percussive sound, tracks like "Heavy Bells" and "Sweat Shock" show a deepening understanding of how to harness the power of rock music while maintaing a sonic balance. The keyboard-laced "Marigold" was more similar to their previous efforts, but rather than feel redundant, it spoke to a developed, recognizable signature sound.

This is a band that understands showmanship, too, from headbanging to guitar shredding. J. Roddy managed to work the crowd despite being seated at his piano for much of the set; the flying arc of his hair was an easy reminder of his frontman status. Mostly, everyone onstage, and in the room, was having a heady, sweaty, good ol' time -- making for a seriously memorable rock show.
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