At this point in their career, The Werks are one of the best established jam acts on the circuit today. Through brilliant marketing with their festivals and events, relentless touring, and (most importantly) their entirely unique
brand of rock and roll. All of these facts considered, it should come as no surprise that their newest album, Magic, released on March 17, finds the Ohio natives sounding more comfortable in the studio than ever before. Their familiarity with the recording process is evident upon first listen, even without the knowledge that this is their fourth full length studio album since 2009; no small feat considering the studio presence (or lack thereof) that most groups of the genre display.
Written in their ‘sonic dojo’ The Werkspace, the album features eight inspiring tunes which traverse several different genres of rock. Right out of the gate with the first two tracks, the delightfully upbeat “Wide Awake,” followed by the title track, the listener realizes that this isn’t going to be another pentatonic wank session that seems much too common in today’s rock landscape. The Werks have an eclectic sound, reminiscent of 70’s rock gods yet avoids coming off as a cheap imitation. “Slab” really hits the spot, with a gut buster of a riff that offers a pleasantly abrasive counterpoint to the smooth lyrical caress of the first few tracks.
“Moonset” sees the boys moving in an even more experimental realm; a trance-fusion arrangement matched with ruthlessly proficient lead guitar that could get any naysayer’s head bobbing as if they were raging the Big Tent around 3 AM at the old Bisco. The track took full advantage of the Sonic Lounge studio’s 1 of 13 in the world soundboard, found in Grove City, Ohio. “Moving On” is the longest track of the album, coming in at 8 minutes and 36 seconds, providing a well needed canvas for perhaps the single most diverse track of the record. Beautiful melodic hooks and a jaunty rhythm pull rock aficionados in like a sirens call, while the bridge section exhibits some bass runs that’d make Getty Lee pay attention. “Lights Out” wraps the album up with some assistance from Ohio’s own Hoodoo Soul Band, who laid down some one of a kind horn riffs over the concluding tune.
Key Tracks: Slab, Moonset, Moving On
Magic can be yours today for the wonderful Name Your Price option on The Werks’ bandcamp. Be sure to visit their website as well for upcoming tour dates, possibly near you!