Ten tracks, gifted songwriters and killer performances – what more can be said about Lakeside, the first new album from guitar legend Eric “Roscoe” Ambel in eleven years? A lot actually. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Mr. Ambel – one of the nicest human beings you’ll ever meet, a studio whiz, an incredible guitarist and an all around great guy. And he has quite a fine gathering assisting him on this no-frills, top notch collection of songs. And, as I would have expected, it sounds amazing, having been recorded at Roscoe’s own Cowboy Technical Services Recording Rig in Brooklyn (anything recorded there has an amazing vibe/feel).
Starting with “Here Comes My Love”, written by Scott Kempner, the equally legendary guitarist of The Dictators and Roscoe’s bandmate in The (almighty) Del Lords, this song just flat-out kicks. as Mr. Ambel is aided and abetted by Jimbo Mathus on guitar (who also produced the album), Keith Christopher on bass and Phil Cimino on drums – a damned good start. Which takes you right into “Hey Mr. D.J.”, written by Mr. Mathus (he, once of the beloved Squirrel Nut Zippers) which is heavy duty headbanging, but not metal, just ROCK. “Let’s Play With Fire” is a road-twangy countrified bouncer, which you can’t help but feel and be automatically imagining driving fast down a dirt road, blasting this loudly – the solo just aches with yearning and makes this one of the (many) high points; “Massive Confusion” is almost vintage punk-style, reminding me of the early Damned without the chaos but still with the same manic throttle and the dirty guitar sounds bring back memories of hearing Brian James play in the same way and “Buyback Blues” is just that – heavily reverb-ed, haunting, dark and stripped down to the bare bones – with some of the best guitar grinding I’ve heard in years.
Since there are only ten tracks, I don’t want to give too much more away – seek this album or CD out; the album has been available for a while, but you can get it in both formats and either way, it’s a win-win. Because when it comes to any recorded work with Eric Ambel’s name on it, you’re know you’re getting quality.
Lakeside is available now