Saying Nashville’s Thelma and The Sleaze is a Southern rock band isn’t stating something that’s not immediately obvious. The tones in their guitars alone showcase the swagger that only the South can bring to the type of fuzz fueled rock that they perform. Like most Southern rock bands, their live shows have always been those of legend with plenty of chaos and energy thrown in alongside good hearted tunes. On their new album Fuck, Marry, Kill out tomorrow, they turn things up a notch, they throw away the old play book and they go full on into the world their sound has nurtured since their beginnings.
The swirling fuzz pedals that thrive within the opening notes on “Down” that meet and greet the vocals and an organ tell the beginning of the story here. The song has this molasses feel, but not in a murky way but closer in how it just flows along. But the album doesn’t start to dive deep in until the more up sounds of “Buyin’ It” come on. The band is keeping things lighter on these opening tracks while keeping their core sound in tact. That seventies piano mixed guitar growl sound starts in with “Long Cold Woman,” showing that this isn’t the same ol’ same ol’, but rather a nw path in which the band can tread towards.
The whole album has what feels like a push and a pull between personal lyrics and swag infused tones. “I Bet You Cried” is titled like a joke, but the lyrics are more tender and inward sounding. “One Million Kisses” has that beer fueled snarl that the band has employed in the past yet it doesn’t sound dated in the process. And “Pain” has all of the intensity that the trio has brought to their previous songs and to their live shows as well.
But with all of that, the real standouts here come when the band steers the ship towards the softer sides of the South. “Something I Can Touch” has a sax that mixes with the guitar to create a sound that’s like a lullaby coming from a lounge act. “Dance Hall Baby” comes off as an old rock in roll love song while “Mary Beth” has all of the energy of a slap to the cheek with plenty of powerful emotions. The album explores new territory without distancing the band from where it all began, proving that sometimes looking inwards is how to get true salvation.
Fuck, Marry, Kill is available to stream on all streaming sites or downloaded from all digital retailers and it can be purchased physically directly from The What of Whom when it gets released tomorrow. Thelma and The Sleaze are set to perform at The Basement East in Nashville, TN tomorrow August 09. The band will announce tour plans soon as well.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of The What of Whom.