The world seems to be going through a trend of 2 piece bands. Of the sea of musicians that fit this mould, Chris Lowe (TX, vox and guitar) and Eleot Reich (CA, vox and drums), aka VOLK, have something about them which makes them stand out.
Their 2015 release Boutique Western Swing Composition saw them compared them to the likes of White Stripes due to songs like “Simple Western Song” and “Like a Fool.” However, their bluesy track “Revelator’s Bottleneck” showed that this duo had a lot more to offer.
Since the release of their debut EP, they have been busy on the road spreading the word about their music. VOLK are artists who thrive on the energy from performing live and because of this, their sound has evolved to what they describe as a “mix of high- octane rock n roll, classic country swagger, and heart-wrenching soul”.
This change in direction has resulted in new songs and a newly released EP called Average American Band.
You instantly notice the change to their sound with its opening track “Hats & Boots.” Reich gets things started with some infectious drumming before she is joined by Lowe’s bluesy guitar riffs to deliver a rock n’ roll party. The energy given off by these two is impressive and demands attention. Same goes for Reich’s vocals, which share memorable lines such as “He’ll wear a smile for your mother and a pistol for your father / Slip a Franklin in the offer but it’ll cost the preacher’s daughter.”
Average American Band from VOLK is thunderous rock n’ roll fun and it’s awesome!
The pace slows down with the intro to the track “Land of Toys.” Its dreamy atmospheric tone builds up before they deliver a sassy little number. There is some more great work on the guitars from Lowe, but it is Reich’s vocals that steal the show. This song feels like a bridge between their old sound and new.
“January,” with its roaring combination of drums and guitar, grabs your attention from the get-go. However, the remainder of the track on first listen may not stand out as much. But don’t be fooled, there is something about this track that is difficult to describe. It gets better with each listen and before you know it you’ll be singing along to the line “Well when the rain’s coming down harder than it’s ever before”.
“Honey Bee” ends this release with a bang. Its playful nature is clear to hear from the opening lines “I’m waiting for my one true love / to come and set me free / from my own loose hands, one night stands / and the evil running free.” Towards the end, there is an improvised preaching style that gives this track more clout. The infectious energy pumping throughout this song is what makes this duo stand out and why people need to be aware of what they do.
Average American Band is an impressive EP that leaves you wanting more. Hopefully, they won’t make their fans wait too long before their next release. VOLK has teased that they have got more up their sleeves, but they are not willing to share at this moment in time.