Huck Johns scored a shot at the majors in 2006, delivering an eponymous debut that sounded quite a bit like fellow Detroit rocker Kid Rock but didn’t make many waves. Undaunted, Johns headed out to the west coast and formed the unapologetic ‘70s hard rock throwback Black Robot, throwing away any rock-rap affectations and indulging in loud guitars and slamming drums. Black Robot is heavily indebted to the records that ruled middle American airwaves in the ‘70s and ‘80s -- Aerosmith and AC/DC, Seger and Skynyrd, and everything in between -- but it’s not a slavish re-creation, it’s a spirited tribute that doesn’t care to keep things clean. There’s dirt in the grooves of Black Robot; the guitars don’t have controlled distortion, they’re gnarly and overdriven, the rhythms have swing, and when the group does downshift to a ballad, things don’t get syrupy, there’s still some grit. Black Robot may not reinvent the wheel, but that’s not their intention: they’re keeping things old-school, covering “Cocaine,” boogying away on “Badass,” and delivering a terrific Bon Scott salute on “Girls Kissing Girls.” It’s a record for rock fans who are convinced that they don’t make them like they used to.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine