Taddy Porter is a band from Oklahoma that has had a good run thus far. Their debut album was met with rave reviews and that album cycle saw them in front of tons of new fans. Taddy Porter’s sound up until now had been described as modern rock with a retro edge, some comparing the band to an early version of the Paul Rodgers-fronted Free. I felt that the song Long Slow Drag could’ve easily been written by The Beatles, yet it still felt modern. When I heard the band was about to release their new album, Stay Golden, I immediately reached out to review the album. When I received the album, it was something that I was definitely not expecting. That’s why we’re here though. I’ll scan the highlights and the direction of the album, the rest is up to you to discover. This is Initial Thoughts. The band is Taddy Porter. The album is Stay Golden. Let’s do this.
Kicking off the album is the track Changes. It’s almost as if the band is using this song to issue a battle cry, or at the very least, a strong statement to the fans as to what to expect on this album. The song comes from a statement made several times in the studio by producer/mixer Mark Neil. Mark was quoted speaking in a Southern Gentleman tone saying, “There’s gonna be some changes around here.” So, the band took that mentality and created what you hear. The song and the direction is something that I must admit, was alarming at first, but after a few listens, is a delightful change. The super fuzzy tones, the organs, and the thunderous drums make for such a warm retro vibe. More on that as we progress.
Next up is The Gun. It’s a tale that could be the plot of the next Tarantino spaghetti western. As a matter of fact, Django Unchained needed this song. With its twangy Dick Dalesque guitars, this could easily be the opening soundtrack to a Tarantino film. Quentin, you listening?
The first single is on the radar next. It’s titled Fever. I immediately get a Black Keys vibe; which is not far-fetched considering that producer Mark Neil has worked with that band in the past. This song returns to the warm and fuzzy tones and the song builds itself into a huge sing-a-long with plenty of ooooooo’s to go around. You will be singing those ooooooo’s, as they are simply irresistible. The vibe on this record is just so different from their debut, it’s like it’s not even the same band. I truly believe the band has found itself though, and I hope their fan base gives them the opportunity to display just how much fun this band and album can be. I loved the first album, but I must admit, I can’t get enough of Stay Golden.
Check out the video for Fever below:
Emma Lee is the next song I want to talk about. Vocalist Andy Brewer has really made it his mission to bring all these melodies into the fold. Melodies that are so infectious, there is no resistance. This song screams late 60’s Motown. Is this the Funk Brothers or Taddy Porter? With its easy going soft guitar, beautifully accented organ, driving bassline and Temptations/Four Tops style backbeats, this song is the absolute centerpiece of the album for me.
The track Evil will immediately conjure visions of Jim Morrison and The Doors. The tone and delivery of the vocals will make it impossible for you to not go there. The chorus, oddly enough, is not sung by Andy Brewer. It’s sung by the band, which is a terrific twist for this song. It’s honestly refreshing and I love it.
The last track I want to touch upon is You Can Count On Me. This song, much like Fever and Emma Lee, will give you an immediate late 60’s vibe. It’s quirky mid-song bridge is an absolute blast for me. Then you bring that Beatles style back into the chorus…it’s quirky, it’s fun, it’s awesome.
What Taddy Porter has done with this album is going to be both angering and elating to their fans. I know, because it happened to me. With the fire the band now possesses, the retro vibe, the hooks, the melodies, the drive, the experience; it’s inevitable that they break through with this album. With the success that The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, and even Mumford and Sons have had with such a retro vibe, Taddy Porter could very well be next in line.
Listen, I’m going to be honest…I’m probably the biggest advocate there is for a rock and roll revival. For me, music has become stale and stagnant the past 10 years or so. It’s all been recycled and overproduced. The systematic way of doing things has run its course. It’s time to reinvent music and what better way than to return to the roots of rock and roll and build upon that foundation once again. If Unsung Melody were to put together a tour, it would be a rotating headlining tour of Leogun, Rival Sons, Vintage Trouble and Taddy Porter. That would be amazing. If you enjoy fuzzed out guitars, catchy melodies, organs and kicking backbeats, Taddy Porter has staked their claim to be your new favorite band.