Love and a .38 – Nomads
Album Review of Love and a .38: Nomads
Powerful hard rock that’ll jolt you from your slumber and put a smile on your face.
Stylistically, Love and a .38 is most comparable to Steel Panther or Beautiful Creatures, sporting the blues-rock ethos of George Thorogood with a powerful, screaming vocal style that recalls Brian Johnson (AC/DC) or Marc Storace (Krokus). To varying degrees and in different ways, the band reminds me of Kix, Legs Diamond, early Great White, and Charm City Devils. Something about the band’s delivery, at times, even makes me think of them as a much heavier version of FireHouse. If you like any of those bands, Love and a .38 could become a new favorite.
The band grabs the listeners’ attention right from the start, opening the album with “Oh My God,” an aptly-named, oh-my-god, blues-based, swamp-rockin’, sure-fire crowdpleaser.
“Just Like Regret” follows with a little playful melody wrapped in its power-rock driving rhythm, with plenty of “whoa-ohs” and “ooh-oohs” mixed in, along with a slow-build bridge that climbs into a wall-of-sound and cranks up the volume just to seal the deal. Try not to get sucked into this song. You’ll fail spectacularly.
A bit of a softer track – and “softer” is purely relative – is “Abre Los Ojos,” which is still a strong, pulsing, surging rocker but with a bit of a flair. When you aren’t singing the album-opening song’s “oh my god,” you’ll be singing this track’s “open your eyes.” In my opinion, the battle for catchiest song on this disc is a toss-up between “Oh My God” and “Abre Los Ojos.”
There are other contenders, of course. If you like loud, straight-ahead screaming numbers without a lot of subtlety, “Big Leg Betty” does it best. “Holy War,” on the other hand, is loud rock with a monster guitar hook.
Raucous straight-ahead rocker “I Won’t Wait” brings back that catchy, singalong hook, providing texture to the disc, a bit of respite after a couple of balls-to-the-wall rock numbers. Then “Not Comin Home” rattles and shakes a bit.
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, “Born To Make Me Die” slows the pace and reveals a jangly, Old West gunfighter guitar sound. It’s not a ballad by any means, just a slower-paced power rocker with a different sonic feel.
The album wraps with “Get It Right,” a grizzled rocker that incorporates a variety of sounds heard elsewhere on Nomads, capturing a pure Love and a .38 sound.
When all is said and done, this is perhaps the freshest hard rock sound I’ve heard in a long time. If this is your genre and you’re not familiar with Love and a .38, resolve that immediately. Nomads will be one of your favorite albums this year.
Whenever a tour is announced, you will be able to see Love and a .38’s upcoming tour dates on its website.