87 Nights – Eighty Seven Nights (Review)

Bursting on to the scene in a great ball of fire, the guys in 87 Nights wasted no time in dropping their self-titled debut record, Eighty Seven Nights. Eight songs in length, the gritty garage rockers keep things dirty on most tracks but venture into some spacey, final frontier shit about mid-way through. Its apparent that the band has learned a lot from gigging hard these past two years that they’ve been together, the energy on this record is high but the sound is focused. It’s rare for such a young band to sound so confident in the studio but these guys have it dialed in, with some help from engineer Matt Zutell at Coast Records. The guitar tones are sure to tickle any purist’s fancy, the drums are full and loud, vocals slide from slick to raspy, this is meat and potatoes rock ‘n’ roll so buckle up.

The record opens with “Pug Song”, a wise choice in such a loyal breed. The picking acoustic guitar carries along and wailing harmonica fills pull the listener in. It’s a blues tune, ya’ll. The vocals begin small but as the song progresses, the sultriness picks up. Hands start to clap and the high-hat plays along. There’s a brief halt, the drums kick up and an overdriven guitar transforms the track into a new pug entirely. This track is likened to the Rolling Stones in their Beggar’s Banquet and Let it Bleed era, country/blues rock without being married to a specific genre.

The only single off the record, “I Ain’t Your Man” presents the signature sound for the group. This is the kind of track that causes you to slap your buddy’s arm, raise your beer, and howl when you hear the opening guitar lick, a total crowd pleaser. It rings out the sensibilities of early The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys, specifically in guitar work and distorted vocals. The lyrics are relatable for the rambling types but ask to be sung along by everyone. Its anthemic in a sense. Your head will bob and you will air guitar to the solo, almost guaranteed.

Tracks like “Shuffle Jaunt” and “Dry Rub” are where the band likes to get weird. The bass line shines brightest on “Shuffle Jaunt”, thumping out in the ambience. Both tracks dwell in a cosmic sound, experimenting with different effects and breaking away from the overdriven rock sound that dominates much of the album.

Prominent track, “Create” adds another dimension to the record. The main groove is sunny and hints on elevator rock. The beauty of the song is how the band expands on the groove, adding the traditional rock elements, along with a chant break, and the romantic theme. The drums on this track are to be noted; riding, filling, and stopping, it’s some good stuff.

Putting their best foot forward, 87 Nights knows their sound and how to wield it. Their debut record has laid the foundation but also flirts with mixing up the formula. Hearing this outside the bar or the venue will turn a head, because the sound is familiar and welcoming. Folks hear this and they jump to it, they sing to it, and rock to it. 87 Nights leaves the pretentiousness for other groups. This is good music for good people.

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