Out January 20
(Mascot Label Group)
Cut Against The Grain is a cut above. It’s not your average debut album. And it’s not just the insane quality of the songwriting that marks this out as the first must-listen release of 2017.
What makes Aaron Keylock’s long-awaited long player so very, very special is that it soundtracks a remarkable journey from child prodigy to serious player on the blues rock scene.
Five years in the making, it’s already unique in its historical significance. Five years down the line it will no doubt rank as an invaluable snapshot into the psyche of one of Britain’s biggest live draws and his creative take on those difficult teenage years.
Keylock was just 13 when he penned Just One Question. He’ll tell you it was the first serious tune he conceived and, while it may have been tweaked to better reflect his 18-year-old self, it’s the fact that it doesn’t sound out of place alongside the guitarist’s more recent work that’s so remarkable.
That’s not to say Keylock hasn’t matured – far from it. Just One Question simply proves the old adage that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. And this kid is really fucking good.
Kicking off with the aptly-titled All The Right Moves, fans of The Cadillac Three and The Black Crowes will immediately be drawn towards a sublime talent quite capable of fusing the blues with country and Southern Rock.
That’s Not Me and Try bring Keylock’s vocals to the fore and the former is particularly affecting. But of course it’s the intuitive, immersive guitar work that will garner favourable comparisons with everyone from label mate Joe Bonamassa to the late, great Gary Moore.
Cut Against The Grain offers compelling evidence that Keylock already belongs in that company. Believe the hype.