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The Last Men On Earth

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Album Review

Far too many blues-rock bands sound like Blueshammer, the hackneyed faux-blues band featured in a key scene from the film Ghost World, who serve up lame, uninspired riffs swiped from Jimmy Page, who himself swiped them from Mississippi Fred McDowell. In truth, Five Horse Johnson isn't really that far from this depressing prospect; their relationship to the blues is only slightly firmer than that of the White Stripes, and they sound more like early Black Crowes or '70s ZZ Top than Howlin' Wolf, or even the Eric Clapton-era John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. On the other hand, ZZ Top and the Black Crowes are fine bands, and Five Horse Johnson have a similarly loose, lubricated sound, and devil-may-care attitude that puts across even the more pedestrian songs. At their best, as on the blistering "Sweetwater," and the more laid-back, -'70s-style choogle "Boogie Coalition Approved," Five Horse Johnson achieve a noisy rock and roll power that's far removed from the sterile "tasty licks" attitude that so many similar bands fall victim to.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Five Horse Johnson comes straight out of Toledo, OH, with big riff, get down, rootsy, middle American rock & roll that takes acid blues and Led Zeppelin and mixes in influences like the Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, and ZZ Top. The band -- made up of Eric Oblander on harps and vocals, Brad Coffin on guitar, Steve Smith on bass, and Mike Alonso on drums -- got together in 1995 and began opening for acts like War, Southern Culture on the Skids, Atomic Bitchwax, the Queens of the Stone Age,...
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The Last Men On Earth, Five Horse Johnson
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