“Rock ‘n’ roll is dead to you baby, but she’s alive to me,” sings F. Scott on “Moondogs & Nighthawks,” off the band’s debut LP, Hold On To Your Heart. And just to hammer home the point, he and his band The Nighhawks go on to prove that sentiment nicely across 11 blistering tracks.
“Waylon to Van Halen, we like ZZ Top; we sure do love us some country and rock,” says Scott. The album, a follow-up to last year’s EP, goes to show all those influences and more, with a particular nod to The Black Crowes on some of their dirtier boogie tracks. The album is punctuated with a wave of distorted chords, thundering drums, and Scott’s fantastically emotive, gruff vocals that brings to mind Rev. J Peyton.
The Toronto-based band balances out burn it down to the ground anthems (“Rattlesnake No BS Boogie” and “Moondogs & Nighthawks”), genuine love songs (“Stevie Girl”) with the occasional goofy singalong (“Shelf”).
It’s hard to pick standouts tracks here, as there are hardly any weak songs to be found, but the title song—a straight-ahead rocker with an addictive chorus—is an easy favorite. The only track here that seems a little out-of-place is the mellow closer “Saddle Up,” a love song to the band. Not a bad song, but just a little incongruous.
Rock ‘n’ roll clearly isn’t dead, baby.