Review: Aaron Keylock – 'Cut Against The Grain'

Here she comes, like a bullet from a gun“, I can’t help but think of bands like Lynryd Skynyrd. The guitar solo (the real reason we’re all listening to Aaron Keylock) is short but very spicy. He has that classic Gibson tone, provided by either his Firebird or Les Paul, but to my ear it could be the former. “Down” features a nice delta blues inspired electric slide riff, and a solo that would make Johnny Winter proud. Sadly, for me, the rest of the song plods along never really going anywhere. However, by the third track, Aaron shifts gears, and this album really starts to cook. “Medicine Man” is a belter! It’s so good, I had to check that it wasn’t a cover version. Nope, this is an Aaron Keylock original, and a future classic. Everything on this song ticks the boxes; great riff, slinky slide guitar solo, lyrics that conjure up images of the Deep South, and a much better vocal performance. From here on, the album just gets better and better, with a particular highlight being “Just One Question”. It features some of Keylock’s best playing, as he brings things down and plays some emotive slow blues. Think Gary Moore jamming with David Gilmour. With two minutes elapsing before Keylock utters a single word, it’s easy to lose yourself in his sublime soloing. Aaron’s bassist must get a mention. He plays some really nice lines rather than just keeping it simple with root notes, thus filling the sound for Keylock. “Try” is a gorgeous ballad in the vein of 70s era Stones, with some nice melodic soloing, akin to Slash during the “Use Your Illusion” period. After a bumpy start, the album ends up being a triumph. Aaron Keylock’s vocals are a grower, but thankfully by the end of the record I can say they are a winner. For a debut, this is a strong release, and hopefully an indication of more to come from this talented young guitar slinger. Definitely one to watch. ‘Cut Against The Grain’ is released 20th January on Mascot Label Group Pre-order on Amazon Review: Colin Plumb

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