Kicked Out of Eden is only the second solo release by Javier Escovedo, who most people know as one of the founding members of The Zeros, The True Believers and one of the pioneers of the ‘70’s West Coast punk movement. Javier is one of the storied Escovedo family, including older brothers Pete and Coke Escovedo (Santana, Malo), niece Sheila E. (Prince) and of course, brother Alejandro Escovedo (The Nuns, Rank & File, Buick McKane). This new album is pop mixed with twang and rock’n’roll that remains true to Javier’s love of ‘60’s garage and ‘70’s punk.
From the moment the riff to “Downtown” hits you between the eyes and kicks in with the drums and boogie-woogie piano, you’re reminded immediately why there’s such a thing as “rock & roll” – not to be confused with all its permutations. Catchy and ballsy, it sets you off on the ride; “It Ain’t Easy” continues down the path with punchy and crisp/heavy guitars and “Beaujolais”, while slowing it down just a bit is heavier and filled with chill-inducing riffage and some very subtle organ punches. “Drivin’ Around” goes in a more subdued and semi-country direction and automatically screams “radio hit” to me – listenable and produced like a million-dollar moment; “Just Like All The Rest” is Byrds-y with a 12-string chiming through the body of the song and a very McGuinn-like vocal delivery and “This Side Of Nowhere” has a Replacements-like fire from the moment the crisp opening guitar slashes in.
It’s very easy to hear and say that this is the first great album of 2016 and one I’ll be listening to – it’s impossible not to. Javier Escovedo has delivered a pure rock & roll message that needs to be absorbed and revisited time and and again.
Kicked Out Of Eden will be released on Friday, January 15th, 2016