Summer draws closer every day, and for those who aren't keen on filling their summer jams playlists with bubbly pop or bass-heavy hip-hop, there's one other option that might be what you're looking for: Loud, sweaty, good old-fashioned Southern rock. Of all the rock sub-genres, the South just knows how to infuse soul, country, blues, and overdrive in just the right way to make any day feel like a hot summer afternoon by the swamps of the Bayou. Nashville's own The Delta Saints
know this fact especially well, and for years they've been one of the most underrated indie rock acts keeping the Southern sound going. Now, they're back with Monte Vista
, a scorching full-length record that has all the hard-rock grit the band has perfected over the years, but this time, a little West Coast psychedelia is thrown into the mix for good measure.
You can tell the band has taken cues from the daisy-chained 1960s music scenes of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and this is most evident on the albums lead single, "California." This song named after the Golden State keeps a steady mid-tempo drive over crisp guitars and shimmering synths, and perfectly captures the feeling of driving down Highway 1 over the speed limit. "Sun God," with its hypnotic, pulsing beat and trippy harmonies sounds like it could've fit just as nicely in 1967 as it does in 2017. While the band has new inspirations out West, their Southern rock roots are still well in tact on songs like the slow-burning "Crows" or the anthemic "In Your Head." Even on the more genre-spanning tracks like the Bowie-esque "Space Man" or the riff heavy "In Your Head," that raw, vintage flair remains the through-line that keeps the record cohesive and thematically sound from beginning to end.
Overall, Monte Vista
is a solid, no-BS rock record that should make their fans very happy and maybe even win them some classic rock fans looking for music made after 1978. Every song moves quick and with intent, and the record's ten tracks are honestly over before you know it. That said, the album as a whole still packs plenty of catchy melodies and well-crafted guitar tones to keep your music collection sounding fresh this summer. If there's anyone who wishes the Summer of Love took place down South and had a little more balls to it, then the Delta Saints have got you covered. Keep this record handy, and your summer nights are guaranteed to rock hard.