Black Bone Child

Alligator, and Take You Blind

Texas Platters

Black Bone Child

Alligator

Black Bone Child

Take You Blind

Black Bone Child's barreling, black-denim blues-rock boasts a full tank in the wake of the band's eponymous debut in 2008, and the local quartet's pair of simultaneous new releases is as ambitious as the Black Crowes' complementary releases last year, Before the Frost ... and ... Until the Freeze. Alligator's steel, wood, and high watts hit a fifth gear that BBC engages effortlessly live on second cut "Be Your Man," while the fiery harp licking at "Baby Baby" crackles Memphis Minnie by way of Led Zeppelin and the arc light slide pouring kerosene on "Little Bird" lets fly like a bar fight. Equally, the blacktop roar of "Turn It Up" gets undercut by a car ad chorus, and "This Disease" panders to the worst of modern rock radio, but mostly, Alligator simply can't deliver the band's live roundhouse on disc. Better is EP-length acoustic addendum Take You Blind, which manages an Alice in Chains Jar of Flies-like reveal. Stripped of stomp, the swamp emerges good and thick, as on the heavy, slide-slicked "By My Hand." Especially Jerry Cantrell is "Tell Me I'm Wrong," a strummed lap slap inlaid with harp and leaning toward a dirge. "The Flames Are Warm," the only song on both CDs, generates more conviction by being less plugged. Donny James' rawhide vocals on "Mine" and "Ask for Forgiveness" are a step up from the usual house whiskey; spare closing plea "Dying for Your Love" shoots a perfect end note. Just under an hour combined, Alligator and Take You Blind are symbiotic enough to have been mixed, matched, and edited into one 40-minute road hog.

(Together) **.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Black Bone Child
Texas Platters
Black Bone Child
Black Bone Child (Record Review)

Chase Hoffberger, Nov. 7, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Raoul Hernandez
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

May 14, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

May 7, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Black Bone Child

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle