Vinyl is on its way back and so, too, are the shiny shoes and smart suits of "Mad Men." It's perhaps one of the reasons Vintage Trouble seems like the obvious next step. Here's a sharply dressed LA band that's bringing back blues rock, in style. It's a band for those who like the sound of the Rolling Stones, and the look of Motown.
On stage, frontman Ty Taylor spins in circles, snatches up the microphone and twists his feet to the rhythm like a smooth operator. That smoothness covers up the fact that there are a few bland songs here and there—mostly off the band's only album, the 2011 Bomb Shelter Sessions. "Nancy Lee," for instance, deals in the most cliché of blues chords, with lyrics that seem about as deep as a Cocoa Cola commercial.
Other songs, though not profound, at least feel fiery. "Pelvis Pusher," where Taylor sings a call-and-response line of "One, two, three! Push your pelvis with me!" and then cat-calls "wow!", is of the James Brown, sex-machine variety. But even better is "Blues Hand Me Down," which features angular guitar riffs that just barely give away the otherwise retro band's contemporary reality. This is like the Supersuckers meets Chuck Berry, and the crispness of the instrumentation is irresistible. Taylor is the cherry on top. His impeccable timing—with a coy smile here, a snap of the hand there, a hip twist in between—is why you'd want to see the band play rather than just hear the album.
The band has been making huge waves in just a few years. Taylor recently fronted Queen for a party honoring Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday. They don't give that role away to just anybody.
Vintage Trouble plays the Missoula Winery Thu., Aug. 8, at 7 PM. $15/$13 advance at ticketfly.