Mount Carmel

Real Women

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

At a time when most bands with greasy hair and beards were putting out alt-country albums, in 2012 Mount Carmel released their stony sophomore record, Real Women, an authentic-sounding homage to rough-and-tumble late-'60s/early-'70s boogie rock legends like Free and Humble Pie. The artwork is indicative of the musical spirit. As a power trio, singer/guitarist Matt Reed, bassist Pat Reed, and drummer Kevin Skubak bash out hard-edged gritty soul riffs, with perfectly approximated Cream-style raunch and Stones-style swagger. The songs ring true to the bell-bottom era, but are constructed in a way that the band is never slavishly ripping off its influences. Mount Carmel seem truly earnest about carrying the torch. Within the echoes of classic rock, there are the fuzz guitar tones, pentatonic scales, and raspy British blues vocals that one would expect. Similarly, in the tradition of all great power trios, the rhythm section tends to stretch out and jam, but nonetheless, plays like a tight, well-oiled machine. For this record, the band shows substantial improvement from its debut, in a studio setting that boasts more of a sonic wallop than the typical basement recordings of Siltbreeze. The highlight is undeniably the band's musical chemistry, but Real Women also boasts a strong collection of songs, striking a perfect balance for people who like muscular jams and those who want to howl along.

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