CD Review: Mambo Sons- “Heavy Days”

Mambo DaysIt’s been an entire decade that the band Mambo Sons has been making music. Throughout the band’s history, the trio has created a total of 4 releases. The band’s latest one, Heavy Days, was just released by the group.

Mambo Sons is a rock trio that consists of Scott Lawson on bass and vocals, Tom Guerra on guitars, and Joe Lemeiux on drums. The band formed back in 1999 when Lawson and Guerra found each other in college and created a bond that would later lead to the two making music together in several bands throughout the years. When the duo added Lemeiux to the mix, Mambo Sons was born.

Previously, the band had released three albums of blues-rock music. 1999’s self-titled release, Play Some Rock & Roll from 2002, and 2005’s Racket of Three all gave the public a good idea of what the band was all about. The three releases showed that the members of the band were a solid unit, one that could produce a style of music that is an equal amount of both blues and rock.

The band just released their latest release, Heavy Days. Heavy Days differs from the band’s other three releases in the fact that the band created not one disc for the release, but two. When creating the album, the tracks that were meant for the album were created and so were other songs that ended up being so good, that another disc was needed to hold the songs.

When a band puts out a double-record album, there usually ends up being one disc that out-weighs the other, as far as talent or strength is concerned. However, when talking about Heavy Days by Mambo Sons, all of the twenty tracks that make up the release are so good and solid, there is no way of deciding which disc is the better of the two.

With Lawson and Guerra creating the songs for the album, the two musicians kept the music within the blues-rock style. But, the twenty songs on the album stay as varied throughout the release as any one band can make them. And that’s what makes Heavy Days by Mambo Sons such a good release.

The album starts out with the band performing two songs that have a style that might bring to mind The James Gang. In fact, “The Only Woman” by Mambo Sons sounds very much like a send-up to “Funk #49” by Joe Walsh and the band. “The Only Woman” also contains a little Jaw Harp playing by Scott Lawson.

The next two songs on Disc One of the album are an instrumental called “Blues For Zanny” that leads segues into the next track of “The Early Train”. Both songs have a style that rely more on the blues feeling than the first two songs on the release.

The style of the disc changes dramatically when the band performs “Everyday (Brighter Times),” a song that contains a large amount of acoustic guitar in the basis of its rock sound. And for “Love Is Strange,” the band shifts gears once again as the music contains a large amount of folk feeling to it.

As Disc One of Heavy Days from Mambo Sons comes to an end, the band throws another instrumental track in with the rest of the songs. “The Devil’s Kin” allows the listener to hear the talent of all three of the players as they let their instruments do all of the talking on the track. The band finishes out the disc with the title track of the album, “Heavy Days”. As one of the strongest tracks of the release, “Heavy Days” is a great song to bring the first disc of the album to a close.

Disc Two of Heavy Days from Mambo Sons does nothing to disappoint. As with Disc One of the release, the second volume finds the band continuously changing styles and directions in their music to keep the music fresh and enjoyable.

While the entire second disc of Heavy Days is strong, the last four songs are the highlights. From the A’Capella “Song for a Rugger” to the band’s version of the Jimi Hendrix song “Stone Free” performed live, followed by another instrumental entitled “A Fifth of Twelve,” to the instant classic of “So Wonderful,” these songs would make for a great EP. As it is, the four songs give the listener plenty of reasons to listen to the entire release from beginning to end.

2009 marks the decade mark in the history of Mambo Sons. Having released three previous albums, the band had a strong catalog of music before they released their newest album. With 2009’s release of Heavy Days, the band of Scott Lawson, Tom Guerra and Joe Lemieux have strengthened their catalog, and the world of rock music in general, with by far their best material.

To find out more about the band, you can find them online at www.mambosons.com. You can also find them on MySpace at www.myspace.com/mambosons.

You can purchase a copy of the album through CDBaby by clicking on the album cover below.

Mambo Days

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