Climax Blues Band

A Lot of Bottle

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    6
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This album starts out promisingly (and interestingly, and misleadingly) with a cool acoustic number, "Country Hat," before the amplification gets cranked up and a lot of subtlety goes out the window. Still, this is generally an exciting album, if not always an interesting one. The band plays hard enough on grinding, crunchy shouters like "Reap What I've Sowed" (which features a wondering, soaring solo by Peter Haycock, and a spellbinding performance by Derek Holt on bass), which also parallels Mountain's contemporary release "Mississippi Queen"; and they bring back in that oft-overlooked instrument, the saxophone (played by Colin Cooper), on "Brief Case." Much of the rest is on the bland side, " "Alright Blue?" being a tedious workout for the harmonica as lead instrument. A couple of Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters covers are more engaging than most of the originals that follow, until the pleasantly loose-limbed closer, "Cut You Loose."

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