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Black Crowes: By Your Side

Sylvie Simmons, MOJO, January 1999

THIS ALBUM rocks. And rolls. And nigh on rollicks. Where their last album loped, this one struts. The record it's most like is their 1990 debut Shake Your Money Maker – all swagger and groove and memorable tunes, most of them unconsciously pinched from the Stones, Humble Pie and Faces, but hell, they pinched them from American rock'n'roll so these Southern boys were only reappropriating what was rightfully theirs – with a party attitude commendably out of keeping with the '80s stadium cock-rock which was still refusing to die. There, as here, there's no idea under 25 years old but who cares when we're talking vintage Rod Stewart and Stones? Rich Robinson's guitars (he plays them all on this LP, the band having parted with yet two more members) are a fusion of Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood – tight and loose, spare and messy, all at the same time – while big brother Chris's gravelly voice is utterly Rod, with the occasional Paul Rodgers diversion.

Total word count of piece: 823


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