Review | Blacktop Mojo – Pollen

Cuhmon Records

`Pollen’ the new album by Blacktop Mojo is a sonic journey that encapsulates the essence of raw, unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll. Their key ingredients further enhanced; the songs track with immense power, while James’ vocals are still soul stirring. From start to finish, the band delivers an insanely powerful and captivating listening experience that leaves a lasting impression.


The album kicks off in style with the remarkable ,,The End is gonna Come”, setting the tone with its gritty riffs and anthemic chorus, immediately grabbing the listener’s attention. Benchmark is their contemporary stride leaning towards the grunge era, meddled with classic southern rock attitude. The band’s powerful instrumentation resonates strongly and with singer extraordinaire Matt James at the helm, the band packs great insane sonic appeal. 

As the album progresses, tracks like ,,Weary I Roam” and ,,Red Enough” showcase Blacktop Mojo’s ability to blend heavy, hard-hitting power rock with melodic hooks and soaring choruses, creating songs that are both musically dynamic and emotionally resonant. The dynamics maintained, it is astounding to hear how they manage to inject the huge amount of soul and spawning grit they are famed for. Especially the guitar interaction is spot on with new guitarist Malcolm Booher serving strong rhythmic ballast to Ryan Kiefer’s great reverberating guitar work. Dueling in the spotlights, and with great sonic interaction both are discharging their raw riffs and monumental hooks, complementing each other’s qualities spreading six-string intensity throughout. 


One of standout tracks on `Pollen’, is a unison of these forces: ,,I can’t Tell” stirs melodic rock timbre with wonderful guitar melodies harmonized atop, highlighting the band’s versatility. Its hauntingly beautiful acoustic intro leading into a thunderous chorus that packs an emotional punch. The song lands immediately with the audience and makes a long-lasting impression. 

Meanwhile, the slower paced pounding and gritty ,,Rise” and the honesty and rawness radiating ,,Born to Lose” showcase the band’s Southern rock influences, with infectious grooves and soulful vocals that demand repeat listens. The gritty guitars and heavy groove make waves, evoking memories of classic Southern acts without maintaining its uniqueness all over. Blacktop Mojo is to bold and creative to suffer by comparison, as `Pollen’ constantly proves. Firing on all of Blacktop’s engines are the great ,,As the Lights Fade” and ,,Something’s Changed”, spawning melodic intensity and great momentum. 


Noteworthy is the album’s closing track ,,Like Wild Horses” uniting a back porch strum and country accolades with wonderful vocal harmonies, providing wonderful momentum. Throughout `Pollen’, Blacktop Mojo’s musicianship shines brightly, with tight instrumentation and jam packed interaction. Matt James’ powerful vocals command constant attention and his personality hues enormous pride and confidence. His register is warm and broad, making him the exceptional vocalist the band needs to propel their blend of styles. The production quality of the album also is top-notch, allowing each instrument to shine while still maintaining the raw energy that defines the band’s sound. The right dose of live energy captured; `Pollen’ is an in-your-face sonic smash. 

In summary, `Pollen’ is the triumphant album for the Texas band, carving their name in the realms of rock music and forging their place as one of the premier rock bands of today. With its memorable hooks, powerful lyrics, intense melodies, and guitar interaction, atop the propelling infectious energy, this album is sure to resonate with fans both old and new and is a must-listen for anyone craving authentic, soul-stirring hard rock music. Masterpiece!

Release date: 4 May 2024



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