The guitar riffs that open up “Ol’ Blood N’ Guts” are absolutely intense, with hints of timeless acts like KISS placed alongside progressive metal shredders. When the vocals start up, a similarly-catchy side of Brown’s music is shown. Where production largely goes ignored now, it is the skilled production on this album that allows Brown’s solos and vocals to shine without either sounding too tinny or being forgotten in the mix. Brown challenges listeners by placing “I’ll Wait Here (For Your Love)” as the opening track, as it very nearly tops the album in terms of sheer length.
However, it is Brown’s extreme talent with the axe, as well as the narrative present in the vocals, that will firmly seat listeners for the entirety of “Ol’ Blood N’ Guts”’s wild ride. Where there is a timeless sound to the opening salvo on the album, “Hit The Road” has a decidedly more classic feel to it. Whether it is the blues-laden riffs or the early Van Halen approach taken to the vocals, there will be something for everyone to appreciate here. “Black and White” may just be the most poignant track on “Ol’ Blood N’ Guts”; starting off slow, the guitars burst out into open defiance as the piano continues to tinkle on. As is the case with every cut on this disc, Brown is able to create a track that is as hard rock as one can get, while still having something for pop fans to chew on.
Topping off the tank with the release’s final cut, “Still Alive”, Brown is able to break the stereotype that weaker tracks are placed at the backside of a title. Rather, there is a slower track that closes things up nicely – as the guitar steps back for a few moments, Brown’s vocal chops are put to the ultimate track. When the vocals rest, listeners are left with a stunningly-arranged song that will stick with them for weeks to come. If you are a fan of any sort of rock or even metal, find out a way to pick up “Ol’ Blood N’ Guts”.
Top Tracks: Black and White, I’ll Wait Here (For Your Love)
Greg Brown – Ol’ Blood N’ Guts / 2010 Lionsbreath Records / 9 Tracks / http://www.gregbrownmusic.net /