The Coals – A Happy Animal

The Coals – A Happy Animal
SoCal’s The Coals have wonderfully weaved several aspects of American folk and roots music into a flavorful stew with their debut effort. Think a pinch of Steve Earle, a spicy dash of the Texas Tornadoes, and a subtle essence of the Radiators, and you get the idea. Sometimes the influences stand out in particular tracks, such as the Mariachi-infused folk of “Maria” or the drunk-on-saturday-at-Tipitina’s romp of Dirt Road. Then there are the more Americana hybrids like the foot-stomping “Lord Lord Lord” and Western balladic “Steal My Heart.” Vocalist Jason Mandell has one of those crooning western tenor voices infused alternately with honest emotion and humorous inflection, often mirroring the lyrics which range from soul-barring to tongue-in-cheek. The musicianship is top notch, adding flavor with the accordion playing of Jack Arky and also featuring former Everclear drummer Greg Eklund. Many newer bands are digging deep into their roots these days, and The Coals have managed to mine gold with the music they have created with their roots. – MW



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