When so many music critics pigeonhole Pennsylvania’s Pearls & Brass as “stoner rock,” you really have to wonder if they’re listening to the music. Sure, they favor long hair and loud amps, but the trio’s rootsy rock owes much more to Groundhogs and Cream than Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. The band’s 2006 eponymous debut opens with nary any sludge as guitarist Randy Huth’s guitar slides and picks like he grew up on old blues vinyl and ZZ Top albums. But unlike many of their blues-rocking contemporaries, neither Huth nor bass player/singer Joel Winter affects an inflected drawl when singing these songs. “Highway Sermon” would sound perfect on a mix alongside similarly rootsy songs by Howlin’ Rain – especially the end of the tune which dips into psychedelic guitar leads played alongside a weighty groove. The heavy stomp of “Stone Leaves” sounds inspired by the more bluesy selections from Blue Cheer’s 1968 debut album Vincebus Eruptum like B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby” or Mose Allison’s “Parchman Farm.” “Long Be the Day” switches it up with an open-tuned acoustic guitar and hushed singing.