Album Review
9:00 am
Tue August 27, 2013

The Guitars: Higher Action

The album Higher Action by The Guitars is a time machine upholstered in crushed red velvet and fine Corinthian leather.  Every note, every verse and every track is perfectly crafted to wrap you in luxurious comfort and style.

The album opens with the track, Too Hot to Hold – a song rooted in Motown but bearing fruit in Newport.

From the silky-smooth Wall of Sound vibe of songs like “Talkin’ Bout My Baby” and “Scattered Storms” to the jangling Beatles-esque “She’s Got Your Heart,” Higher Action shows that The Guitars have talent to burn and they can show it off without shoving it down your throat.  There is a subtlety and a nuance about the album that is both engaging and provocative.

The Guitars are made up of Matt Ayers (drums), Kane Kitchen (bass/guitar), Russell Morris (organ/guitar/vocals) and Mark Van Patten (vocals/guitar/bass).

Backing The Guitars and lending horn support is a group known as “Their Outrageous Arrangements” – consisting of two members of The Pinstripes and a handful of other local musicians.

The album was expertly engineered and mixed by Mark Van Patten.  Mark was able to capture the tone and vibe of the Stax/Volt Memphis sound of the 1960’s – a sound that is rich, deep and super-smooth.

Bonus tracks on Higher Action include a song entitled “El Alamein” and a great cover of “Don’t Look Back” – a classic originally done by The Remains in 1966.  The bonus tracks were engineered and mixed by John Curley [Afghan Whigs] at his Ultrasuede Studio in Northside.

The album Higher Action is available for download from Bandcamp or for streaming for free via Spotify.  The next time you go shopping for music -- if you find yourself in search of something that is new and original yet grounded in the classic roots-rock era, seek out The Guitars.  You’ll find music that is sure to put a smile on your face… and your soul.

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