Hear Me Roar
Let there be no mistake: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are a hard rock band. If you have been confused by Potter’s collaboration with Kenny Chesney into thinking she’s a country chick, you are wrong. Not that Country chicks can’t be long-legged, flying-V playing, high-heel wearing firecrackers, because Lordy knows, they can. But Potter lends her invincible energy and considerable vocal talents to music that draws from a deep well of 70’s era rock. I’m thinking the Ram Jam Band and Heart my have been a big influence.
If you look at the kind of songs they cover, you see a smattering of Blondie, Grace Slick and ZZ Top, no slouches when it came to tearing it up on stage with red-hot licks. Potter is helped along by what appears to be a heavy hand on the echo machine, but this merely serves to bring her voice up to compete with the screaming guitars.
Their latest album, The Lion, The Beast, The Beat, opens with the title song, in which one can find the lyrics “someone let the beast out” — and that’s just what the track does. The record builds steam, so that the last two tracks, “One Heart Missing” and “The Divide” are full-on amp-up-to-eleven blasts of rock majesty. (They start out slow to get a running leap at the finale.)
Imagine U2 or Coldplay with a hot female singer
In concert, Potter noted that the closest thing to a ballad they have, a song called “Stars” is going to be their next single, and that they re-recorded it with Chesney. The Inky Jukebox isn’t sure why. It’s pretty darn good all my itself.
The only dud note on this amazing record is a track in the middle called “Loneliest Soul,” which The Inky Jukebox confesses not to have listened to, and in fact, to have clicked off on the iTunes because it opens with one of those jangly, off-key piano intros you only hear as music that signals the entrance of the scary clowns. You know of what we speak. I do not want to be startled into terror by these sounds. Perhaps the rest of the track is lovely, but I’ll never be able to stick around to find out.
Buy this album now.