EP REVIEW: The Guitar and Whiskey Club – The Guitar and Whiskey Club


As the nights get darker, trees have lost their leaves and there’s a “nip” in the air, you could do worse than retreat into your man cave with a guitar and some whiskey, or even The Guitar & Whiskey Club’s new self-titled EP (Orchard / Sony).

This well-thought-of covers band has been throwing their own songs into the mix for a while and now makes a solid recording debut as an “original” outfit, with a cleanly produced, “live” sound and a sure sense of fun.


The boys echo everything from AC/DC riffs and rhythms to ZZ Top boogie plus something of a Guns N’ Roses sense of threat. They very quickly stake out the territory, put up the log cabin and fire up the barbecue – hard rock with a bluesy vibe and a few Southern detours. Pack the poncho, pass the nachos, pronto, to the macho head honcho on his bronco.


If these guys had their own brand of whiskey (I’m sticking to the US spelling of the eponymous liquor, just to avoid confusion) it would no doubt be called ‘Rebel Fire’ – and, strangely enough, that’s the title of the rip-roaring opening track with its squealing, squalling guitars and a potential singalong/chantalong section that reaches out to a live audience. This LA band, led by guitarist/songwriter Jeffrey Donovan, have been on the go since 2016 and know all about playing live having appeared at the likes of the Canyon Club and the Whisky-A-Go-Go, supporting Jack Russell’s Great White, Pretty Boy Floyd, Accept and others.


New singer Mark Prudeaux was recruited as Donovan looked to relaunch the Club post pandemic and this five-track collection is the result. Bassist Frankie Yanno and drummer David Carbajal complete the current line-up, although session player Adam Ponce took up drumming duties for the EP.


One of my very own favourite guitar albums will always be Rick Derringer’s 1979 classic Guitars And Women, and I have a funny feeling The Guitar & Whiskey Club will know all about that. While Guitars And Women (“they both need that tender touch … but … they cost and they take so damn much!”) may be an unlikely title for these strange times – non-PC, non-woke, non-inclusive, non-MeToo, non-LGBTQ+?! – the GWC don’t mind getting down and ‘Sleazy’, one of those songs full of wrong side of bed/wrong side of town misadventures with adventurous misses, and there’s more teasy sleaze rock with the lively and humorous ‘Does Your Dog Bite’.


‘I Know’ nods to power ballads of the 1980s/90s, even if it falls short of the closing songs of movies like Armageddon or Con Air (yes, that is a high bar, since we’re talking Aerosmith and Trisha Yearwood respectively). The Bon Jovi-esque ‘Lone Cowboy’ could be the strongest track – elegiac, romantic and heroic, a tale of a dude out on the prairie, blazin’ days and cold nights, plus a few nice geetar solos.

All in all, The Guitar & Whiskey Club offer solid fare, while doing exactly what it says on the label.


Buy the EP here: https://guitarandwhiskeyclub.com/


7 / 10