Sniff a Hot Rock
Machine Age Records
Sniff a Hot Rock is an old-school rock ’n’ roll record all the way through. Classic crunchy riffs and gritty vocals about loneliness, booze and love, Sniff is for fans of older acts like ZZ Top and Cheap Trick and newer outfits like J. Roddy Walston and the Business. The musicianship is solid and carefully calculated in its solos, melodic riffs and drum features.
While the style of music itself isn’t exactly shiny and new, the band does play with popular classic-rock themes and gives them a twist. For example, “Shot Me Down” is a fun flip on the narrative of men in rock bands being objects of desire with women falling at their feet. Instead, the rocker narrator here tells a story in which a young woman tells him to buzz off, because being in a rock band and having a record deal doesn’t make him special or interesting.
The album grinds along until its frantic finale: “Say Yeah” is an upbeat jam that sprints before dropping out in a blink, leaving you to consider the album in contemplative silence.