by Rick J Bowen ~ No Depression
"Seattle based Gravel Road learned many lessons in their five year apprenticeship with T Model Ford, chief among them being to play to one’s strength and seek out fine collaborators. The quartets album El Scuerpo, released November of 2014 once again finds them mining the caverns of the emerging genre that mixes the raw energy of garage and punk rock, the simplicity of delta blues with a psychedelic seventies sonic known as Deep Blues. The nine tracks rest heavily on the shoulders of the stout rhythm section of Joe Johnson on bass and drummer Martin Reinsel who lay down dynamic entrancing grooves while the guitars push the envelope of compressed overdrive, mixed to perfection by audio genius Jack Endino at his Sound House studios in Seattle.
The opening track “Waiting For Nothing,” reveals slow burning tale of a lonesome man’s inner struggle. The groove gets swinging for the North Mississippi styled “Wolf On Down The Way,” and the heavy duty boogie “40 Miles.” The amazing Lisa Kekaula of the Bell Rays delivers a stirring performance as the first of two guest vocalist on the Junior Kimbrough gospel blues tune, “Lord Have Mercy.” Andrew Chapman leads the band through the sludge rock stomp fest “DD Amin,” and the eight minute epic “Asteroid,” testifies to the bands first love of doom rock pioneers Black Sabbath. The jaunty “Flesh And Bone,” plays upon the popular fixation with zombies with marvelous tongue in cheek flair, and may qualify as the groovy new theme song for The Walking Dead. "