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The Georgia Thunderbolts – Rise Above It All

(Mascot Records – 2024)

(Style: Southern Rock / Blues)

The first thing that hits me is the quality of the guitar playing, finesse and power in equal amounts. The vocals are excellent and the lyrics are atypical of this genre.

For some reason the album struggles to really take a hold of me, it is possibly because too many tracks are of a similar tempo, with nothing that really rocks my world, that is until the final track which is a real stomper. ‘Pricetag’ is a rip-roaring blast of furious fun and should surely have been the opening track!

Eighth song ‘She’s Gonna Get’ also hits the spot with some powerhouse drumming, the songs around this are too mid-paced to capture the attention. ‘Little Jim’ is a good variation on a theme with insistent drums and piercing guitar work.

‘It Ain’t Easy’ is a shit-kicking hoedown featuring some clever bass lines that has interwoven lead guitar. (I was surprised to find out that this is a cover of a David Bowie song from ‘Ziggy Stardust’) it is brilliantly realised.


Let me begin again, from ‘She’s Gonna Get it’ the album bursts into firehouse Southern Blues, ‘Stand Up’ is a thunderous bit of Rock, brooding and punchy. Like a Wild west barroom brawl, you know someone is going through the window, you just hope it isn’t you. Back to ‘PriceTag’ it rages with a romping riff and races at you like a rampaging Rhino with the horn!

There is nothing wrong with the opening tracks, but you really need to get deeper in before the album catches fire. One of my biggest complaints with records is someone gets the job of putting the album into sequence and here it is simply not right. Like a book you need to get hooked in the first chapter with ‘Rise Above It All’ this simply doesn’t happen. There is a few months to tweak the running order, if that is done this could easily be a contender for album of the year.

‘Gonna Shine’ is a good track but it is never an album opener, it should be somewhere in the middle. ‘Rock And Roll Record’ really sounds like Skynyrd, it has some great acoustic flurries as it builds with some really classy vocals and keys, it has a stupendous guitar solo maybe reminiscent of Blackfoot in their prime, it really is a ‘Highway Song’. ‘Rise Above’ injects some power with a funky bass, but none of these are opening songs and they do nothing to prepare you for what lies ahead.

‘Moonlight Play’ is a desert plains ballad, it highlights the feel and quality of the musicianship, great song, but apart from searing guitar solo it is another album track which is possibly about right in the running order.

‘Ain’t Got No Money’ tells a story which hits a groove, we’re all looking for a girl who’s 5ft 6. A girl who just wants some fun, hey man that girl doesn’t exist, you’ll need some money to taste that honey!

‘Wait’ is another mid- pace song, which gently builds around some good vocals, a catchy chorus keeps this interesting, but surely by now be need to take the bloody roof off and RAWK! But no, it’s not time for that yet, as it’s time I was; ‘Crawling My Way Back To You’. Is that a bit of steel guitar, mixed with some slide?

And now finally the album explodes! We’re possibly back to a girl who’s 5ft.6, guess what, it’s time for some fun and’ ‘She’s Gonna Get It. From here to the end, it’s a rock explosion as the band release the shackles and are Free to run to the finish line!

The album sleeve is eye catching as it depicts swampy Southern Rock! It is a fine effort but it could be so much stronger, change the running order please, then it will be a real; Rock ‘N’ Record.

Since writing this I have listened to the album a few more times. I stand by my running order comments, but it is otherwise excellent.

By Paul Mace

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