Reviews

Mojo MakersMojo Makers
Album: Devils Hands
Label: Hypertension Music
Tracks: 11
Website: http://www.mojomakers.dk

Mojo Makers - a young up and thrusting Danish blues band - and their second album, the suitably blues titled 'Devils Hands' deliver an all original package (as in original writing rather than the sound which is basically as old as the hills) which pays homage to the old masters. Having said that, they have a few strings to their bow in branching beyond the blues and into a more R 'n' B and soul influenced sound which gives a nice variety to the set.

Singer/songwriter Kasper Osman justifies their mission in "we need the blues more than ever to keep our feet on the ground and remember what is important in life." Indeed, their approach and lo fi sound pay respect to the fact that the blues is an organic and rootsy genre which needs no studio spit and polish - well, maybe a little spit, but they certainly go to pains to ensure that they stay true to the roots of the music which is as much about the feel rather than the technical proficiency and the songwriting.

Whilst there are some killer blues rock tracks in the shape of 'Man Fire Soul' - even just the title invoking a sense of traditional elements - plus 'Waiting For Your Love To Come' where there's an economy of playing which is the type of call to arms which the likes of Rival Sons and Blues Pills are recharging to such effect. All sparse beats and guitars with the harsh vocal cutting in it cuts to the chase, a no frills mantra with a 'it if ain't broken why fix it' attitude.

Adding the keyboards, mainly through Hammond and piano, of Lars Madsen they add an extra dimension so 'Howl Away', despite its soulful blues moaning, adds a ska-like keyboard part and some interesting but short lived slide. From then on, it's into a real juke box of blues based numbers. 'Fly On Baby' again is based on reedy organ with a typically fraught lyric delivered in suitable fashion and accompanied by a slow schmaltz drenched solo. The souls show starts with 'Man Child' and takes the journey almost into latin rock and rhythms of Santana territory with 'Indian Woman' with its fussy percussion and bass line. There's even a dip into the gospel pond with the title track which takes lyrical inspiration from the constant conflict between Jesus and the Devil, standard fro the blues really, while 'One True Love' strips things back to basic guitar and another soulful vocal from Osman, which turns out to be a feature of the album.

'Devils Hands' is an album which is well played for sure, but in a genre which isn't noted for its variety, Mojo Makers have done their bit to stretch out beyond the traditional forms, perhaps at times a little too far from their roots and into territories which show that Mojo Makers have more than one dimension.

Mike Ainscoe