For a band called The Silks, their sound is anything but smooth - in a good way. Just like the Rhode Island rock trio's debut "Last American Band," which ranged from pedal-to-the-metal "Livin' in the World" to sweet harmony-filled "Learning How to Let Go," sophomore album "Turn Me On" is a reliably bumpy ride of rock, roots and blues.
Admittedly, the album doesn't start with its strongest asset. What "Let It Ride" has in swaggering beat, it lacks in interesting lyrics. Listeners are liable to cry out "Let it ride already!" by its final chord.
But if they keep listening, they'll get better songs. "Take Me to Town" is delightfully hokey enough for a honky-tonk line dance. "Blue" takes down the tempo with a throwback to when harmonica and vocals sang duet in love-lamenting songs.
"Live and Learn" describes balancing personality with everyone else's expectations - "I've got to live and learn before I'm dead and gone / let my freak flag fly, let my hair grow long" - and is followed by "Get Up and Get Free," which inspires listeners to do the same.
Those two songs capture The Silks' essence. It's no secret that the band's mission is to get audiences hooked on old-school style fused with modern standards.
Guitarist Tyler-James Kelly, bassist Jonas Parmelee and drummer Sam Jodrey make up a good backup band, no doubt. But there's a secret ingredient to making The Silks stand out, and it's the man with the golden gravel voice. Kelly's voice rumbles with Bob Seger soul and Seether singer Shaun Morgan's attitude. If the band hasn't covered the latter's "Country Song," at one of its renowned South by Southwest Festival performances, it's missing out on being a dead-ringer for the South African metal band.
"Turn Me On" is a worthwhile addition that'll keep live and at-home audiences just that - turned on to The Silk's sound.