I got my greedy little paws on Back to Momo, the new album from BLACKLIST UNION a while ago, but I’ve been waiting till now to share my thoughts with you all. Why? Because tomorrow is July 10, World Music Release Day and I can think of no better record to kick off what will now FINALLY be known as “New Release Fridays”! Let me just say this right now, so there’s no confusion. Back to Momo is 100% absotively, posolutely The Maestro’s 2015 ALBUM OF THE MOTHERFUCKING YEAR, and there’s nothing anyone can do, say, or release that will change that. If you want real, raw, honest, no-bullshit Sunset Strip-type rock n roll then this is THE album for you.
Vocalist/songwriter Tony West, partnering with writer/guitarist Todd Youth have dug deep into the well of bluesy, dirty, rocky riffs and crafted pure magic on every single track, from raucous opener “Alive-N-Well Smack In the Middle of Hell” to the sexy rhythm of following track and album standout “Shake It Off”. The sexual energy bleeds over into balls-out tune “Mirror Mirror On the Wall” which also boasts some guitar solos that cut glass. Remember when GUNS N’ROSES put out an album whose guitar licks could melt your clothes off as soon as you heard them? Yeah, like that. And speaking of that once-great band, you’d be hard pressed not to hear shades of them in “Evil Eye”, where the guitars flick at you like a serpent’s tongue.
At this point we’re four songs in and Tony West has never sounded better, like he’s getting stronger with each passing chorus. It’s uncanny and simply must be heard to be believed. Speaking of choruses, there’s NO WAY anyone makes it through this record without having at least six of them stuck in his or her noggin for hours, and that should only be after one listen. “SuperJaded” is a perfect example. I find myself singing this one often when I’m on that loading dock at work I speak so lovingly of. Actually, this is hands-down THE most played disc while I’m there. My other favorite for sure is the cover of ROSE TATTOO’S “Rock N Roll Outlaw” The guys thicken it up and give it such a kick in the ass it’s love at first listen, complete with a killer slide guitar solo.
The title track refers to an infamous massage parlor back in L.A. where the happy endings are plentiful, and while listening I could totally feel that vibe. “We Are Not Saints” explores a little bit of the punk side, as does “It’s All About You” (ANOTHER favorite!) to an extent. The latter though has some of the best wordplay and vocal arrangements I’ve heard in a long time and when it takes off for the hooks it sounds like something that wouldn’t be out of place on a WARRIOR SOUL album, a band that Tony and I have both professed our love for on many occasions. Once again, the riffage reigns supreme on “Meet Me On Zen Street” while “Graveyard Valentine” is simply Hell on wheels from top to bottom.
On “Wined, Dined, & 69’d” Tony barks out the chorus like a junkyard dog straining at its leash, ready to sic balls. Closing the disc is “Read Between the Lines” once again channeling WARRIOR SOUL, Youth’s guitar sounding very much like John Ricco’s used to and West singing every word like it’s his last, making this once again a standout among standouts. Til Death Do Us Part was something that came from a dark place of pain. This time around BLACKLIST UNION are full of fire and swinging a wrecking ball to level the joint. If you only buy ONE album in 2015 then make sure you get Back to Momo.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM