Review – Blacktop Mojo; Under the Sun
Blacktop Mojo has been a station favorite ever since finding them through their publicist, Tom George from TAG Publicity. Always on the lookout for up and coming bands, I checked them out and fell in love with the sound. Since then we’ve been fortunate enough to interview the singer, Matt James, in “an evening with” series. We also recorded a video of them doing Underneath live for the very first time. Also captured whole lot of concert memories along the way. It didn’t take very long to fall in love with the band, their energy, and their “guys next door” attitude that makes them wide open to fans everywhere.
Mix up a bit of southern grunge with classic rock and a musical attitude, you’ve got Blacktop Mojo. Under The Sun, their 3rd release, has been highly anticipated and even made my “watch” list for 2019. Sept 13th the album drops and fans around the world will get to hear what I am lucky enough to be hearing now. Brand New Blacktop Mojo. For all the BTM fans, yes, it’s everything you hoped for. For the new fans looking for new bad ass rock and roll; it’s everything you hoped for as well.
Lay it On Me has the trademark driving guitars that hold nothing back. We have a slow roll into the beat with each member coming on one at a time. Light guitar, gimme some drums, throw in the bassline, more guitar and in drops James to get things going. Lay It On Me is a great way to get introduced into this release, if not Blacktop Mojo themselves. Lay it on me, guys. One rock and roll song at a time.
Set it Free changes the pace up some. Guitars and vocals get the tone and the rest jump in on queue. While the same “style” you know and love from Blacktop Mojo, it’s a changeup that experienced bands know how to provide so you don’t get caught in a rut. I’ll call it a sign of growth I saw early on and run with that.
Speaking of changing things up, we’re only to song 3 and they’ve done it 3 times. I feel like I’m reading the same story to be sure, but the different chapters/songs pull you in with mood changes and fascinating story telling. Come Get Your Coat is an instant stand out in a crowded field of great songs. The trend continues and when we get to It Won’t Last you’ll get a touch of the blues mixed into their grunge southern rock style.
The first single from Under the Sun was Can’t Sleep. While the last release had Prodigal and Underneath to slow things down, Under the Sun only really has Can’t Sleep. A bit more introspective in nature, still haunting, Can’t Sleep carries on the “visual music” feeling they’ve come to do so well. You just see the story unfold in your mind, injecting your own life’s events into their music. Can’t Sleep is a perfect one for this mental adventure as everything comes together so well once again.
Under The Sun is certainly another solid effort from one of the hottest bands going today. If you’re new to Blacktop Mojo make sure you join their Facebook group and give ‘em a like and find out where else you can put some Mojo into your life. Give Blacktop Mojo 5 minutes, they’ll give you a new favorite band.
Per my own strange habits, I never review each and every song; leaving some meat on the bone for you to hear and make up your own mind how you feel about the music. Let your imagination soar and just fall into it, my best recommendation.
Getting my photopass now for the Oklahoma City show on 8/23, which wraps up the current leg of the Can’t Sleep tour. While I’ve seen BTM many times before, they put on a great show every time and do all they can to pull the fans in as well. Their energy could power many 3rd world countries and quite a few major cities as well. The fact I get to see Lullwater with BTM on this night, well I can’t think of a better way to get 1 more year older as this is my birthday present to myself.
Catch the review from Cherri Bird, another Dallas rock journalist we love and appreciate and find out even more about Blacktop Mojo from another point of view. Also, check out their Store to keep an eye out for the 9/13 drop date or pre-order here so you can support up and coming music. Easy to do when done this well.
Matt James – Vocals
Nathan Gillis – Drums
Ryan Kiefer – Guitar
Chuck Wepfer – Guitar
Matt Curtis – Bass
Underneath – First time Live