Red Hot Shame is an indie rock group from a Northern California where the mainstay is singer-songwriter Xeff Scolari who works with a fluctuating line-up of friends. This time around it included frequent collaborators Steven Pitsenbarger (vocals, percussion), Ryan Wilson (guitar), Spencer Kennedy (bass, drums, keys, vocals), and Mark Bennet (harmonica), with the band working in the studio with already fleshed-out material to produce a sound which comes close to what they sound like when they perform live. By having a full band instead of just an acoustic, Xeff is able to let his imagination have full rein and the result is something which is often powerful, frequently rooted in the blues, and feels as if it was released 50 years ago as opposed to the current day.

This is fun music, full of sweat, reality and passion, fronted by a singer who has a solid range with good breadth and a nice gravelly approach when the time is right. This is not an album which will set the world on fire but is fun to listen to and I bet these guys are a riot in front of the right audience. We get rock ballads in the likes of “Stone”, and plenty of belters, all in the Seventies-style when bands relied on good songs and performance as opposed to studio trickery. It may not be totally essential but is a good listen and worth checking out if traditional rock with more than a hint of Americana is your thing. Check out the album artwork as well where the band are trying to tie down an oversized chick, it is nothing if not inventive.

Rating: 6/10