Monday, October 19, 2009

Alex Pummill: Beyond Any Shadow of a Doubt

Blues-rock legends have in their corner Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and ZZ Top. But now I introduce to you here, a leader in the new crop of blues-rock musicians. I came across Alex Pummill when I listened to his Michigan-based band Chicago Drive, which delivered a cool, yet already very popular style of pop-punk rock. But then he moved down to Nashville, Tennessee, and started writing stuff which just blew his earlier stuff away (that's what he told me when we talked, and I gotta say, this new stuff greatly outshines his already impressive earlier work).
The first song I listened to on his Myspace page is "Doubt," a slick, bluesy, guitar-driven song that just drips out of the speakers and oozes into your ears. From the first lick of this song, I'm fucking hooked. And already have my head going up and down before the first verse even, and all I keep saying is "Yeah!," because I've discovered the first of the new guard of rock. And if the guitar wasn't enough, then god his voice surely puts it over the top. Smooth, lucid vocals, on top of acid-influenced, blues-inspired guitar; simple ecstasy for your ears. And by the way, the clever lyrics don't hurt either. If you listen to any new song in the next couple hours, make it this one. There's just no more to say about it than that simple fact.
Then on comes "The Horizon," a slick, harder tune, that sounds like it was ripped from Motley Crue's setlist, injected with some GNR, and mixed with Cream-inspired vocals. I mean, SHIT, this song has a freaking killer guitar riff. But if that wasn't enough, with a catchy chorus, then Pummill tears it up during the solo. Swear to God, my fingers actually hurt a little bit listening to him shred the shit out of that guitar. When I talked to him about his new material, Alex said that "Doubt" was by far the best thing he's written up until now, and while I love "Doubt" and had it playing non-stop in my room for two weeks when I discovered it, "The Horizon" would definitely be another song I'd go to a show to hear.
Then Alex slows down a little bit with "The Jam," a song that's exactly that: a jam. Just some simple cymbals in the background, an easy bass-line, and Alex tearing away at the guitar like there's no tomorrow. Simple, short, sweet, perfect.
The last song, however, is one of my favorites, particularly because it's so different from what you hear today. "Old Man" is a Neil Young cover, but Alex is on guitar, and the lead vocals are taken by a friend of his with an amazing voice, Molly Jones. Now I don't know if she's a sister, cousin, or just a girlfriend, maybe I'll ask, but I do know she's got the perfect voice for this kind of song. Slow, rhythmic, folkey, bluesy; just brilliant. The dual vocals during the choruses showcase Pummill's smooth vocal attributes, and the sweet, acoustic guitar he plays in the background is so deep, you can sink your teeth into it.
This guy is getting started, and believe me, he's not gonna stop. Alex Pummill. Learn the name. Remember it. And keep your eyes peeled for it everywhere.

Sounds Like: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Cream, Eric Clapton, ZZ Top

Key Tracks: "Doubt," "The Horizon," "The Jam," "Old Man"

Check out Alex Pummill more at:

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