The brand new album from C2C main stage act and Big Machine trio, The Cadillac Three, is here. Next month could be a very important one for the continuing evolution of a UK fan base for Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason and Kelby Ray, and with ‘Country Fuzz’, they have a new selection of high-energy, face-melting tracks to add to their set list.
It’s a diversion from their previous album, ‘Legacy’, which introduced a much more reflective, softer vibe to the trio’s sound. In this, their fourth studio album, we have a diverse, genre-blurring collection with a mix of country, rock and pop influences. ‘Country Fuzz’ is very much a light-hearted party album in comparison to their previous offerings. With the likes of ‘Bar Round Here’, ‘Crackin’ Cold Ones With The Boys’ and ‘Raise Hell’, they’ve given us their fair share of rebellious anthems that will go down a storm at their rowdy live shows.
On first listen, you could be forgiven for feeling it’s a little unimaginative in places, but ultimately they know exactly what their fan base craves and ‘Country Fuzz’ is exactly that. However, when given a chance to grow on you, the album does have some real moments of quality. The trio saved the best till last with ‘Long After Last Call’ – one of the strongest tracks they’ve released to date. A gorgeous, southern rock-tinged country melody with awesome lead vocals from Jaren, it epitomises the strength of The Cadillac Three’s material when they’re at their very best.
“Lemme be your drink, lemme be your buzz,
Lemme be your smoke, that old head rush
That keeps you flying, dying to dance
Long after last call”
Surely a contender for a future single release to country radio, this is the sort of material that could introduce trio to the mainstream market in the US, which has somehow eluded them to date. That’s clearly something they’ve been targeting, particularly with the release of ‘All The Makin’s Of A Saturday Night’, which is being used on ESPN and ABC on College Football broadcasts throughout this season. It’s gravelly, thumping southern rock with some killer electric guitar that becomes one of the album’s strong-points, more so with every listen. Alongside ‘Crackin’ Cold Ones With The Boys’, another badass release, you have all the ingredients for a damn good redneck party playlist.
‘Hard Out Here For A Country Boy’ will inevitably become a firm fan favourite, particularly with special guest appearances from Chris Janson and the legendary Travis Tritt. Its big, anthemic singalong chorus will become a huge moment in their set lists, and the harmonica solo from Chris Janson adds his own signature flavour and something very different to the trio’s sound.
The aforementioned diversity is on show with ‘Dirt Road Nights’ in particular. Channelling some 80s synth-pop sounds and haunting harmonies, mixed with the signature Cadillac Three grit, it’s one of the softer and more commercially-appealing tracks on the album that could be another potential single choice. ‘Jack Daniels’ Heart’ sees them adopting a rather funky, dance-infused sound that does a great job of experimenting with a different vibe whilst keeping the loyal fans on side with a clever take on a tried and tested subject matter.
“That whiskey burns more than her leavin’
The more I drink the more I get to thinkin’
Who broke Jake Daniels’ heart?”
There’s something so loveable and infectious about The Cadillac Three that’s hard to put your finger on. ‘Country Fuzz’ is a confident, diverse collection from an authentic trio who are never reluctant to push boundaries, and we very much look forward to seeing them again at the O2 in just a few weeks’ time.