THE COLD STARES – A Cold Wet Night And A Howling Wind (2012)

THE COLD STARES - A Cold Wet Night And A Howling Wind (2012)


THE COLD STARES should be Nashville’s Hottest Rock band right know. This is an incredible duo comprising guitar player / vocalist Chris Tapp and drummer / percussionist Brian Mullins.

Formed in 2008 after both had spent a number of years in other bands, Chris and Brian got together for the sole reason to just jam. No preconceived notions on what the project should be. Just do what comes naturally.

The result is a hard rocking, classic brand of rock and roll that is played from the soul; The Cold Stares.

Tapp and Mullins live in Hendersonville, Kentucky, but as a band, the Cold Stares call Nashville home. They’ve released two EPs, one self-titled, the other ‘Hot Like Waco’.

In 2010 they took first in the Nashville region of the Hard Rock Cafe’s Ambassadors of Rock competition, and finished second internationally.

Now they are relasing their full length debut “A Cold Wet Night And A Howling Wind”, and let me tell you; this album rocks!

Believe it or not, the music recorded here are just them; Tapp and Mullins. No overdubs, no additional players, none of them playing another instrument; just guitars, drums and vocals.

What? No bass? No Keys or samples? No.

Incredibly, this duo sounds like a full 5 person band. And they play live in the same way. In fact, this recording has a real ‘live vibe’, surely recorded in the studio playing together at the same time.

Chris’ unique guitar rig, along with Mullin’s giant bass drum provides the full sonics heard here that will blow your mind.

The guitar is running between three octaves through three amps, and using a unison line. Which means he just apply second guitar amps and bass where needed, obtaining a terrific bottom end.

And what kind of music music these guys play? Throwback, kickass, guitar-driven rock.

The Cold Stares soak up influences from timeless bluesy hard rock, think Led Zeppelin or Hendrix. But this is not ‘revival rock’ or a blend with new trends such as ‘stoner rock’. Not at all, this is pure Classic Rock.

On their original penned tracks you can hear more modern influences, sometimes reminding me The Cult’s ‘Wildflower’ era, but more classic rock oriented. “Release You” in example, would be at home on an early ’90s Lynch Mob work.

There’s also tons of Jimmy Page-like riffs and that 28″ Vintage Ludwig drum kick all over, wonderfully played and arranged.

Check the covers of Mose Allison, Jimi Hendrix and Peter Green as well. Soak up those big, muscular riffs on “Jesus Brother James and “Third Degree.” Ache and sweat with “High Fever Dying Blues”.

And “Fire In The Sand”, maybe the most representative track of these guys’ style, will knock you the hell over. Killer.

“A Cold Wet Night And A Howling Wind” should be on everyone’s regular playlist that like pure Classic Rock.

Every song on this album is awesome. No fluff, no ‘radio single’ intentions here. Just pure rock. Chris and Brian play from their souls and it is reflected in their songs.

Although they play Classic Rock (with the obvious influences) there’s no one out there right now who sounds anything like them.

Do yourself a favor, don’t miss this.

Highly Recommended.

01 – Jesus Brother James

02 – Parchment Farm

03 – The Third Degree

04 – Carousel

05 – Fire In The Sand

06 – Black Angel

07 – If6Was9

08 – Cannonball

09 – Oh Well

10 – Ngs4U

11 – Ingrid Pitt

12 – High Fever Dying Blues

13 – Strong Man

14 – Release You

15 – Red Letter Blues

Chris Tapp – Guitars, Vocals

Brian Mullins – Drums, Percussion


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