Soledad Brothers Soledad Brothers

If all those '60s bands had worshipped at the altar of Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Howlin' Wolf, instead of the holy trio of the Beatles, the Stones and the Kinks, the Nuggets box would no doubt have sounded a lot like the Soledad Brothers' debut LP. The Bros., Johnny Walker and Ben Swanks, Esq., have fused the blues to a garage-y sound that's rough and raw. And instead of the showy strain full of interminably wanky guitar solos, they've taken their inspiration from the nasty groove-driven blues as practised by John Lee Hooker, Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside. It takes a certain chutzpah for a pair of white boys from Toledo to christen themselves after one of Black Panther George Jackson's books, dedicate their record to Ike Turner (whom they, with more than a little justification, refer to as the father of rock'n'roll) and tackle the blues. Not only do they work the grooves in a down and nasty way, they have a greasy fluidity that'll have your ass moving before you know it. The sound, recorded on a four-track, is appropriately bold and ragged. And despite the complete lack of a bass anywhere on the 15 tracks, the bottom is more than solid. Proof that the blues are colour blind. (Estrus)