Album Review: Big Harp, “Chain Letters”

(Saddle Creek Records)
Available now
Rating: ★★½ (out of four)

After recording the band’s first album, Big Harp finally started to play gigs. As they went, things got louder, more distorted.

The band, which has its roots in Los Angeles and Nebraska, laid down 10 more songs that have a more electric vibe while still maintaining the group’s rustic feel and honest lyricism.

“Good News” is the highlight with a fuzzy blues riff and Senseney’s honest, howling vocals. Fans of the Black Keys will dig it, and it’s better than any song on that band’s last album.

“Outside in the Snow” has a fun — and a bit funky — guitar riff that Senseney loves to shred through in live gigs, though I’d like to see them keep some elements including the backing vocals when they play it live.

The band hasn’t left its rustic, sort of old-fashioned vibe behind yet. They’ve just turned up the gain a little bit (though some songs, like “Bar All the Doors” keep the acoustic guitar and piano vibe).

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  1. Pingback: Column: Big Harp’s new sound; Waiting Room shows continue | Rock Candy