Katy Guillen & The GirlsKaty Guillen & The Girls
Album: Katy Guillen & The Girls
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 11

Katy Guillen & The Girls follow up 2013's debut offering with this eponymous titled affair, and it's fair to say that the Kansas city based trio (who originally formed to take advantage of a prestigious support slot with the Royal Southern Brotherhood) not only kick blues-rock ass in a none too subtle way, they burst out of your speakers and roughly administer several sharp blows around your head, saying "Hey! This is us! We have come for your children! And possibly your children's children!".

This is a refreshing change. There's no dancing around the handbags to highly produced slick but ultimately lifeless electric blues here. This is plug in, play, put the foot to the floor and try and keep up with us - if you can. This ISN'T blues rock with the life sucked out of it. This is fiery. This is energetic. Frankenstein's blues monster has been connected up to the electrodes and KG & The Girls have provided the lightning bolts for resurrection.

"Old Best Friend" typifies the girls approach. No nonsense, scorching overdriven riiffage, held in check by the symbiotic rhythm section of Claire Adams on bass and Stephanie Williams on drums, topped off with Katy's distinctive vocals delivered with soul, verve and just the right amount of raunch. It's a winning formula and one that this power trio do so well. 11 self-written songs that are testament to that.

Katy herself, taking on all the 6 string-related duties, is not averse to a blistering solo here and there either. "Don't Turn Your Back" has fuzzed-out wah-wah bleeding from it's swampy electric grooves, and that is echoed in the quasi-Zeppelin stomp of "The Race" and the rambling opus that is "Earth Angel".

There are no pretensions here, just an album that is chock-full of tunes that are immediate, in-yer-face and rock like a cradle in a tropical hurricane. The musicianship is of the top notch variety, and the careful use of harmonies and keyboards when they're needed to add colour is a delight.

With plans to continue writing, performing and touring, it will come as no surprise that their fan-base continues to grow, allowing them to spread their infectious brand of gritty, from-the-heart blues around the world. This self-titled release will certainly help in that department. You want good old fashioned, music played with honesty and skill, then look no further than this.

Ken Brown