No Rest For the Wicked

No Rest For the Wicked

by Truth and Janey

CD

Overview

Not to be dismissed because of its underground status, Truth and Janey's only LP, No Rest for the Wicked, was another incredible find for indie record label Monster Records, which has always specialized in digging up long-forgotten American hard rock nuggets from the '70s, but really struck gold this time around. Boasting a swaggering, bluesy grit, piercing twin-harmony licks, and the most righteously ferocious rhythm guitar tone this side of Ted Nugent, opener "Down the Road I Go" instantly establishes the band's '70s hard rock aesthetic whose roots, not surprisingly, lie in English giants like Cream, Jeff Beck, and even more so in Rory Gallagher's Taste, on this particular track. The powerful influence of these '60s guitar heroes can also be heard in Truth and Janey's revved-up blues covers (Willie Dixon's "I'm Ready" and Mississippi John Hurt's "Ain't No Tellin'") and groove-driven originals ("The Light"), while a slightly more distinctive voice emerges in truly memorable, half-electric/half-acoustic creations like "It's All Above Us" and the title track (showcasing frantic sprints between six-stringer Billy Janey and powerhouse drummer Denis Bunce). And this being the '70s, there was bound to be a progressive-sized epic on hand, and it's pleasant to discover that No Rest for the Wicked's entry -- a nine-minute opus called "Remember" -- is no throwaway. Quite the opposite, as it offers at least four or five contrasting passages that range from delicate melodies accompanied by equally timid falsettos, to dexterously improvised jazz-rock breaks, to orchestrated battalions of ascending hard rock power chords, climaxing intermittently in sterling guitar histrionics. (Followers of overlooked Welsh trio Budgie and Canadian legends Rush alike take heed of this, and also the familiar, Alex Lifeson/Rush "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" effects on "My Mind.") Bassist Steven Bock, the last bandmember not yet named, was no slouch himself, not only producing all of these tracks, but sharing duo and solo lead vocals with Janey to give most of these tracks yet another Cream-descended flavor. Sure, Truth and Janey depend pretty heavily on dual guitar harmonies for a one-guitar power trio, but that's just wasteful nit-picking for a band so long departed, and whose overlooked gem of an album still sounds so amazingly vital and engaging today. [No Rest for the Wicked's long-awaited CD issue covered all bases by adding all four tracks Truth and Janey released as singles in the early '70s; including significantly less focused blues rockers of their own design, and a rather unique, boogie charged rendition of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb."]

Product Details

Release Date: 01/27/2009
Label: Rockadrome
UPC: 0858581006016
catalogNumber: 6

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