By Melissa DeGott
I was intrigued by Smoke No. 7 when I saw them open for a friend’s band at Moe’s Tavern in September. They had great attention that captivated the audience’s attention from the first song. When I got home that night, I went online and found their self- titled three song EP they released in November of 2013. I didn’t get a chance to listen to their latest full length effort, Old Bones, until recently.
“They think I’m going crazy and now so do I” are the words Smoke No. 7 singer, Ryan Potrikus, uses to open Old Bones. I’m always critical of the first song, and even the first 30 seconds of an album, especially if it is meant to be an “intro” piece rather than a full song. This band killed it with their first track, “Maniac.” In just over a minute, I feel the song really set the tone and theme for the rest of the album.
My two favorite songs on Old Bones also appeared on their self-titled EP. “Succubus”stood out to me more than the rest of the songs. I loved the bluesy, gritty groove that stays consistent until the end. Also, I was very impressed with the guitarist’s solo tone on this song. “Assassin” begins with a pleasant acoustic intro, but transforms in to a massive, driving hard rock tune. This was different from the other songs on Old Bones, because they left more of their bluesy influences behind and brought their heavier rock element to the forefront.
Smoke No. 7 sound like a grittier, heavier version of the band Old 97’s with a little bit of the Black Keys for good measure. Old Bones is definitely worth a listen for fans of all blues rock and hard rock.