Altered Five has been paying their dues for a long time now. Formed in 2002, they are finally getting the recognition they have earned. Having played juke joints, bars, roadhouses, festivals and more, the band has sharpened their performance and musical skills to a fine edge. Beginning with their last album issued in 2012, Gotta Earn It, the band has focused on writing their own material as opposed to performing their lively versions of covers.
Their latest release on OmniVibe Records, Cryin’ Mercy, is the next step in the band’s evolution. The album’s 11 originals clock in at 44 minutes, providing listeners with a inviting pick-me-up for any time they are feeling blue, or just want to have a good time. Tom Hambridge, lends his magic touch as producer, and the album has excellent sound quality, and an airy, dynamic mix that really showcases the roadhouse quality of the music.
Personnel here are: Jeff Schroedl – guitar, drummer Scott Schroedl – drums, Mark Solveson – bass, Jeff Taylor – vocals, and Raymond Tevich on keyboards.
The great thing about Cryin’ Mercy is the boundless energy of the band. Another win for listeners is that the material is not polished up real pretty, and while the songs are finished works, they still convey that slightly rough-edged feeling that suits these performances so perfectly. While the entire album is a rousing, fun filled romp, of course, we had our favorite cuts.
The album opener, “Demon Woman,” is soul tinged goodness with a rock edge and a choice gruff vocal courtesy of Jeff Taylor. “I’m In Deep” had us sitting at a stage side table in Texas, spurs on our boots a-jingling’ and jangling’. “Find My Wings” harkens back to the great slow Memphis soul masterpieces of yesteryear.
Other tracks we really enjoyed included “Stay Outta My Business,” which reminded us of the great Tinsley Ellis, and the driving rocker “Who’s Your Lover.” We also liked “Urgent Care” for its funky, rocking fun. This album is a keeper! Pick up a copy soon.