The Lonely H – Concrete Class
The Control Group Records
By Greg Lehman
Touring agrees with these guys. Having spent most of their recent lifetime in a van, Concrete Class is more a “life on the road” documentary than a studio album. Opener “Right Down To Me” recalls watching the lines on the highway disappear into the distance and wondering what lays ahead. What lays ahead, in this case, is a mixed bag of some of the best classic rock influenced songs I have ever had the pleasure of hearing.
For Concrete Class – The Lonely H’s third album – they morph into a 1960’s-1970’s musical Frankenstein; the touching sentiment of Lynryd Skynyrd, the riff-rocking Grand Funk Railroad, the rock stomp phrasing of Free, the harmonies of the Eagles, the Doobie Brother’s funk, Pink Floyd’s spacing and the white soul of Creedence Clearwater.
With these musical influences worn proudly on their sleeves, the band needless to say has big shoes to fill. And none bigger than 6’7″ singer Mark Fredson, whose familiar scratchy caterwaul drifts between the late-Shannon Hoon and a pre-dreadlocked Axle Rose. He’s sometimes filled with a soulful pain, but always wistful and anticipating better times ahead. No other song on the album showcases this more than the Doobie Brother’s inspired “The River.” Other standout tracks include “Singer”, “Right Down To Me”, and “White Horse Tears.”
The only spot where the band falls from musical homage to direct rip-off is on “Girl From Jersey,” which wears too close to The Eagles “Take It Easy” for this writer.
But with 60’s and 70’s music making a overly dramatic comeback, an Ang Lee yarn about Woodstock coming out and an opening at the Gorge with the Dead, the Allman Brothers, and the Doobie Brothers, things are looking very “groovy” for this classic rock revival band from Port Angeles band. – (8/10)