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hot young mess

Album review: The Quivers - Hot Young Mess

(Photo by Lindsy Dugan)
You have to admire a band that starts an album off with a song that most bands would end theirs with. A gospel-shoutin' barn burner of a song called "Come Take My Hand" kicks off The Quivers' second long-player. This is definitely a band that has confidence in their material. The obvious question after you hear this song is: “How can they top this?" Luckily for us all, they do.
The new release Hot Young Mess is a blast of early rock and roll that never lets up from the first track to the last. This band knows the fundamental rules of real rock and roll: hit 'em hard, make it fast, and move on to the next song. Nothing on this album is over 4 minutes long; most songs clock in between two and three minutes. If a rock and roll song takes more than three minutes, it's overstayed its welcome. Other than a cover of "Little Red Book" with Love's arrangement, all the songs on this record are composed by the band. 
Vocalist/bassist Terra Skaggs is a force of nature. Her voice is reminiscent of Lavern Baker's as she romps through "Love Me Or Leave It," for instance, or she can rip it up like Little Richard on "(Come On) Let's Maybe." You can tell by listening to this album that the band is road-tested and has hit its stride. The rhythm section of Skaggs on bass and Bernie Dugan on drums is locked in. Guitarist Abe Haddad has learned to play within the rhythm like all good rock and roll guitarists, and when it's time for him to step out as on the title track, he shows he's got chops to spare (note: Desmond Poirier has taken over on guitar since the album was recorded). To my ears, keyboardist Todd Grantham is the anchor of the band. Whether it's a gospel organ sound on "Come Take My Hand," the wonderful cheesy Farfisa sound on "Guaranteed," or the rockin' piano on "It Ain't You, Hon" (on which he would make the ghost of the Big Bopper smile with his lead vocal), his keyboard work is the foundation of the band's sound. 
This album is one of the best pure rock and roll albums to ever come out of KC. Hearing the intensity of this album, one can only imagine how much more intense they are live. You can find out this Saturday at the Brick when they debut this record in concert at their cd release party. Bring your saddle shoes and get ready to dance. That's what real rock and roll does—it makes you move your feet and rocks your soul, and The Quivers deliver. 

Join The Quivers as they celebrate the release of Hot Young Mess at The Brick tomorrow, April 12, with special guests The Bad Ideas and Schwervon!. Facebook event page.
--Barry Lee

Barry is the host of KKFI 90.1 FM’s Signal To Noise, which broadcasts on Sundays from 8 to 10 p.m.


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