It’s been five, long years since the tragically underrated, Minneapolis-based Nato Coles And The Blue Diamond Band last put out a studio album of new material, and man, has that wait seemed like an eternity. As the band prove on their latest, Flyover, there are few modern groups playing today that can nail such a brilliant mix of classic and current guitar rock. The fact that the lyrics are as impressive as the music is a bonus.
Mixing Joe Strummer guitar playing and an E Street Band-worthy rhythm section with vocals that sound eerily similar to 38 Special’s Dan Barnes, Nato Coles and his group whip through 10 tracks that vacillate between full-on rock numbers (“Demolition Man,” “The Roadrunner”), slow-build barn burners (“Phoenix, Arizona 1989”), and rock ballads that somehow manage to sound both nostalgic and remarkably relevant in 2020 (“Mild And The Bars,” “Disposable Camera,” “The Avenue of Saints”). There is not a single moment of superfluous music that could be trimmed from this record.
The U.S. has had a historically embarrassing showing on the world stage politically over the last four years thanks to uncontrolled racism, narcissism, and unfiltered ignorance. It’s easy to be embarrassed about how quickly our country’s reputation has sunk. Flyover, a decidedly American Rock record, reminds you that there’s still a lot of great this country has to offer … and there’s no need to don a stupid red hat.