Retro garage quintet offers good sounds when not in thrall to its heroes.
The Booze is an Atlanta quintet that lives in thrall to the down 'n' dirty boogie-rock of early Stones and Kinks with -- Who knows? -- maybe a bit of the New York Dolls thrown in. At its worst, it all sounds terribly derivative and dull, but at its best it offers a dose of old school rock glory. Opener "Wild One" is one of the latter, a Stonesy rocker by way of Iggy-esque vocals and pure rawk energy. The rest of the album is a mixed bag, and your enjoyment will be directly linked to your ability to stomach unabashed swipes of classic rock riffage. "Long Way Down" sounds so much like the Stones I half expect Jagger and Richards to file suit, while "Down On Your Luck" is only marginally less shameless. But there are good tunes here too, with the stomping "Devil to Pay" and the high-octane "Straight to Hell" revealing hints of a genuine identity for the band. "Derailed and Double-Crossed" offers a stuttering twin guitar attack to accompany the pleasingly unschooled vocals of Chaz Tolliver. More of this please, and less Jagger-esque posing and mimicking, and we might just have a rock band on our hands.