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The Mystery Spot

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Album Review

Not even a minor stroke could stop Five Horse Johnson from rockin' and, if anything, vocalist and harpist extraordinaire Eric Oblander's brush with the beyond only served to inspire the band's fifth album, 2006's The Mystery Spot, that much more. Also benefiting from Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster's imposing guest appearance throughout (hear him take over "Ten-Cent Dynamite" with his outro solo), the record showcases a noticeably reinvigorated 5HJ — not really messing with their successful, rootsy hard rock formula, so much as tackling it with renewed appetite. Starting with the opening title track's aggressive 5/6 blues shuffle, where Oblander's raunchy vocal pays discreet homage to early, pre-Dada Captain Beefheart, and continuing through gritty stomps like "Feed That Train" and the energized "La Grange" groove of "I Can't Shake It," where his harmonica punctuates Brad Coffin's geeetar-grit with soaring wails. Then there's the evocatively named standout "Of Ditch Diggers and Drowning Men"; co-written with former Big Chief member Phil Durr (who also contributes second guitar), it is further fleshed out with slide guitars and organs for a laid-back, down-home sound the Black Crowes used to own the patent on. The remaining cuts do their aforementioned comrades ample justice, without necessarily guaranteeing themselves a spot on future set lists, but The Mystery Spot's overall consistency and reliable sonic qualities (bottom line: few bands pull this music off so well) still offer Five Horse Johnson fans plenty of reasons to celebrate their return.

Customer Reviews

hard driving rock and roll

This is out and out hard driving rock and roll, although I find it a little too dark and heavy for my tastes. Also, I think the lyrics could be better--I just can't seem to relate, but maybe that's because I am a woman. The songs seem to sound very similar--would like to see more variety. All and all though a very good, rock album.

NWD 8

this band is awesome in NWD 8 especially the song "The Ballad of Sister Ruth". they are an amazing band and i hope they come have a tour in Los Angeles soon cause i would totally miss skool to see them

AWSOME!

Why are there so little reviews. I thought they were just another no-name band but theese guys rock!

Biography

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,...
Full Bio