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The Sloe Guns

Last Will and Testament – 2004 (Mott Street)

Reviewed by Brian Steinberg

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CDs by The Sloe Guns

The album may be called "Last Will and Testament," but The Sloe Guns are far from dying. Eric Alter and his New York band come out slugging - check out the tip o' the hat to psychedelia with the backwards-moving sounds before the bombast but ballad-y lead track "Cradle of the Night" - but add a few new touches that extend Sloe Guns' Long Ryders-meet-Led Zeppelin approach.

The delicate interplay on "Lyin' Heart" shows skill in subtle arrangements, while the vocal harmonies on "The Other Side Of Love" add a little sweetener in the mix. Never fear - the band can still get scrappy, as they do on the heavy-guitar finger-pickin' "Gypsy Rose" and the straight-ahead rocker "My Old Town." Alter's lead vocals have an edge to them, as if to say he won't go down slowly, if he has to fall at all. The defiant stance power these songs forward. As this album shows, Sloe Guns still have plenty of ammunition. (900 West End Ave., #3A, NYC, NY 10025)