J. Roddy Walston & The Business - Essential Tremors
Despite having been around in the US for more than a decade, you can be forgiven for never having heard of J. Roddy Walston & The Business. Formed in 2002 after Walston moved to Baltimore, Essential Tremors is their third LP - and the first to land in the UK - and is named after their frontman’s longstanding nervous-system disorder. Right there is an example of their slightly different way of going about things and their efficient, blues-y rock is an equally rare find.
Sounding like the bar band you dream of stumbling over on a Saturday night, their confident, high energy style is mostly of the turned-up-to-11 guitar-led blues rock variety. Alongside the loud and screaming ‘Heavy Bells’, old fashioned ‘Marigold’ and grooving riffs of ‘Take It As It Comes’ or ‘Sweat Shock’, the grimy, T. Rex glam of 'Black Light' sticks out for a bit of variety. ‘Nobody Knows’ and ‘Boys Can Never Tell’ lighten things slightly before the 70s glam rock returns on ‘Same Days’. Walston’s vocals veer from indistinguishable to clear as mud; somehow though that doesn’t matter - it’s the whole sound the foursome produce that is the key to their success. Unashamedly loud and unabashedly old fashioned about their music, this is The Business for sure.