A well hidden part of the new wave of Southern Rock, Chattanooga's Bohannons deliver poignant lyrics over a fuzz drenched landscape that has more in common with Sabbath than Skynyrd. With songs about life in the South, look death in the eye and express anger & concern towards todays societal issues they are out to destroy the stereotypical image of what Southern rock is and can be.
With a pair of brilliant albums already out in the world for consumption the Bohannons continue to raise the bar and their latest - Luminary Angels - follows that trend.
The nine songs that compose Luminary Angels bounce around a myriad of subjects. Lost love, societal strife, addiction and religion all find there way into the dark and sometimes angry lyrics that spew from Marty and Matthew Bohannon. The album wastes little time kicking it into high gear with the rocking "Run the Roads". Fuzz drenched guitars fill your ears to be joined by lyrics about wanderlust. The guitar solo in this tune is out of this world. On "Smoke and Ashes" they develop a bluesy 70's sound while weaving a tale of a relationship burned by addiction, anger and lack of trust. They switch things up with a bit of twang on "Heart Goes West". Layering in lyrics about death, sin and lost love it will quickly become one of your favorite songs on the record. "No Trouble Tonight" is an aggressive tune about bad things happening. The vicious guitar riffs and booming rhythms from Mike Gaut (drums) & Metal Billy C. Robinson (bass) work with the lyrics to create a anxiety you can feel. They voice their thoughts on societal misgivings and political strife on the brooding "2000 Nuthin'" and on the jangly "Vacation" it is all about escaping to anywhere as long as it isn't here. The title track, "Luminary Angels" is a succinct example of what the Bohannons do so well. A raucous musical landscape sludges along raising questions about religion, God and the devil. The album closes with two of the best songs on the album, solidifying how effing good it is. "Dog Days" offers up the familiar Bohannons' guitar sound with lyrics driving home the point of fighting the evils in life. It is followed by "Big Mouth" which is a haunting tune about betrayal, death and sin.
While each of the Bohannons' records offer up something different they are all held together by the same multi layered music that drives their lyrics home. Luminary Angels is a complete album demonstrating that the Bohannons' music is more than mindless noise. The lyrics are deep, have meaning and the music punctuates what they have to say. With the help of the Drive-By Truckers, the Pollies, Lee Bains III and the Dexateens, Southern rock has evolved into the social conscious of a new South and the Bohannons need to be included in the conversation.