Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
Anyone that feels they’ve an Alabama Shakes (circa 2012) size hole in their life should be ecstatic with the debut from Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, the spiritual successor in every way to 2012’s Shakes album Boys & Girls. Previous to his sharp turn into soulful rock the expressive rasp of band leader Rateliff was put to use on stripped back sensitive folk. Having decided that market is a little overcrowded he made the shrewd jump into Northern soul territory. And it makes perfect sense; matching his powerful vocals to the stirring soul of the band’s self titled debut is spot on.
Key to its success is their total commitment to the sound, nothing deviates from the record’s mission. At the centre, literally and metaphorically, is the thumping, rocking, dancing ‘S.O.B’ complete with gospel humming and “Son of a bitch / Give me a drink” chorus. Though we’re in out and out northern soul territory here (‘I Need Never Get Old’, ‘Look It Here’, ‘Shake’), the seven piece show they’ve got a softer touch when it's needed with the wistful ‘Wasting Time’. That’s an anomaly though, this is a get-your-feet-moving set of songs and one of the best examples of soul-rock this year.