Never done this before. Came close a few times, yes. But I don’t recall ever actually coming back and making a band I’ve already selected as an “ice pick” to be again, an “ice pick” for a later month. Even if I had, I don’t usually go back to a previous album to project future success.
So I’m going to double down and make the call again. I am, however going back to the first album of this band to get an idea of where they came from, compare to their cd they just got off a national tour supporting, and try to get an idea of just what the future has in store for Blacktop Mojo.
Covering 39 shows in 61 days, entertaining themselves and their fans with various camera filters as they hit major landmarks across the US (both national and rock and roll!) Blacktop Mojo rolled home today from a national tour supporting their hit Where The Wind Blows hit as high as #27 on the Billboard charts. That in itself is an accomplishment many bands would covet well into their aging years and tell the grandkids about until the grandkids stopped coming over to visit. However, by looking back, I can see that Blacktop Mojo is just getting started.
I Am is the first release you can find for Blacktop Mojo that predates their current release, Burn the Ships. Their 2nd release earned them their initial honor of being called out for future success with Icepicks back in March of this year. After seeing the homegrown band succeed with Burn the Ships and a nationally recognized hit, their work and reception on tour, and the dedication this band obviously has for their work, what did I find when I looked back into I Am?
Some pretty amazing music, to be honest. Pretty damn amazing. As I write this “I Will Ramble On” is playing off I Am and as I listen closely to find something to call out, well the song comes calling out to me. You think the tone of the song is set and you catch yourself falling into a rhythm set in the first minute of the song, and then the guitars go another direction in such a clever way at the end of that first minute. The entire arrangement of the song after, while maintaining a haunting tone set, does it in a very unique way showing quite a bit of thought behind the talent.
Haunting. So far that is about the best way to describe the feeling in the music off of I Am. Possessed? After I listen a few more times, perhaps. Perhaps.
Open Road is in fact what sets the tone and much like you hear throughout this release, every song is an adventure of its own. You think you know what to expect with the arrangement, it changes. You think you know the guitar chord coming up, they shift it. You think you know how you’re going to feel by the next song, well that’s the one thing you got right. You’re into this pretty hard by the title track I Am. Matts vocals kick it up a notch as he lays down the simplicity of his own state of mind.
Why is kinda like being in a roller coaster where you put your hands up and you know something amazing is coming and you are so close…almost there. Caught in a breather, so to speak. One of the slower efforts on this album you may want to go ahead and put a lighter in one of those hands as you lose yourself in this one.
The rest of the release is definitely an “E” ticket experience (wonder how many people will get that one these days, google it if you don’t!) roller coaster ride with so many of these tracks headed to personal favorites of so many people as the future success of Blacktop Mojo will have others, much like me, looking back to see how the guys got here.
The real slow savior of this song and as you close out the ride and come back to the start of the roller coaster ride, Back Home is certainly a most excellent choice for the soundtrack to close this experience out. The guys are in fact “back home” now with a few dates not too far from home and even better, a few days at home. Sept 29th you’ll likely find me at Lago del Pino to see the guys play a full set. The taste I got at Gas Monkey live simply isn’t going to do it anymore.
Check out their facebook page for more tour dates, where to buy I Am, and see for yourself why the future looks bright indeed for Blacktop Mojo.