[22 October 2007]
It’s with style and aplomb that Philly’s Pawnshop Roses deliver the ten songs on Let It Roll, an apt title for an album that recalls the raggedy, rollicking blues-rock of the Stones and The Black Crowes passed through an alt. country filter. While this project is only Pawnshop Roses’ first full-length, the band sounds very comfortable and like they’re having so much fun, one would think they’d been doing this for years. Vocalist Paul Keen channels Chris Robinson on soul-tinged rockers like “Seasons Blues” and the title track (the back of the barroom sing-along harmonies add a great touch to “Let It Roll”). Meanwhile on other standouts like opening track “Here We Go”, the band proves it can keep time with contemporaries like Ryan Adams and Jesse Malin. There’s not a particular depth to the material presented here (though piano based ballad “All the Way Down” adds a change of pace) but Pawnshop Roses certainly capture the spirit and sound of rock and roll in such a way as to suggest dirty guitar licks and catchy choruses might be in the band’s blood.