GospelbeacH Shine with Classic Rock Sound on ‘Let It Burn’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

When the new GospelbeacH album was announced, fans of the band were probably pretty excited – and rightfully so. It is a band that just makes groovy music that makes you want to lie in the sun and enjoy the day. The band’s new album Let It Burn is a sort of musical stew that incorporates a lot of classic-rock influences. However, with the passing of frequent collaborator Neal Casal, it’s hard not to feel sort of wistful when you listen to it.

“Bad Habits” feels like it could have been recorded in the 60s with the presence of strings and piano, then you hear Neal Casal’s solo and it’s enough to give you goosebumps. It’s not excessive or showy. It’s just the work of a really good guitar picker doing his thing.

The band goes with a straightforward rock and roll song in “I’m So High”. Everything about this song is rock and roll – from the piano to the guitar to the duration. At only two and a half minutes, the song is over before you know it. It’s a nice change of pace for this band.

“Nothing Ever Changes” is another solid rocker that would bring the crowd to life at a GospelbeacH show. With the guitar and organ sounds, the song reminiscent of Drive-By Truckers with Spooner Oldham.

As you move through the album, you hear some similarities to great artists. The vocals and the overall vibe are frequently similar to Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. You can hear the influence of The Byrds in melodies like “Baby (It’s All Your Fault)” – especially in the harmony vocals and the gentle twang of the guitar. On the topic of backing vocals, it’s hard not to notice the backing vocals in “Good Kid”. They are the kind of soulful backing vocals that have been a hallmark of The Rolling Stones forever.

The songs on this album may not end up on rock radio stations, but they would fit right in with a lot of the classic rock that is played incessantly on stations across the country. This album is also a reminder of how great a guitarist Neal Casal was. Do yourself a favor when you listen to this album: turn up the volume, then just sit back and enjoy.

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