Left Lane Cruiser 2017Photo by _Joel Faurote


With a fresh new album the Blues is once again in the perfectly unsafe hands of Left Lane Cruiser. Oh Yeah! This new full-length studio album called, Claw Machine Wizard is what I really looked forward to. You’ll find 10 songs of gut-stomping’ heavy blues from this Indiana-based band.  

Left Lane Cruiser ‘s Claw Machine Wizard stands out for its diversity

Claw Machine Wizard really stands out for its diversity. Expect crazy riffs, Changing tempo’s, heavy vocals and gritty edges on this album. Overall you’ll hear in all songs the Left Lane Cruiser trademark but as an album individually you’ll find out these Guys went into a new direction on Claw Machine Wizard.

Left Lane Cruiser – Still Rollin’

Left Lane Cruiser back to duo format

This is already the seventh studio album for Alive Naturalsound Records from the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based blues rockers. Founder Freddy J Evans IV (guitar/vocals) has returned to the duo format the band has been known for since their inception over 10 years ago (save for the expanded three-piece on their last album of new material, Dirty Spliff Blues). The decision to pare the band back down was made by Freddy. “Left Lane Cruiser was born as a two-piece and our attack and style of blues just works better as a duo,” admits the frontman in their official press release.

Claw Machine Wizard gets better every time

Claw Machine Wizard gets better every time you listen to it. You’ll find at least 4 hits on this album and they’re worth listening all day. “Still Rollin'” is a song based on a heavy blues riff and further contains some fantastic lyrics. “Booga Chaka” stands out for the slide guitar based groove. “Liquor Store” starts as a slow blues song but then quickly turns into a wall of sound. Here they also show how to bring a guitar solo like real Rock ‘n Rollers.  “High Maintenance” is one of the grooviest songs on this album and here I really like how the vocals complement the music so fucking good.


Trying to expand the Sound

Lead singer and guitarist Freddy explains how this album is slightly different than other Left Lane Cruiser records. “There’s still a lot of signature LLC gut-bucket blues on the new record, but we’re constantly trying to expand the sound. I’ve always kept our foundation in blues and classic rock, but after a decade of making albums, eventually, new flavors creep in”.

Inspiration from James Brown and Charles Bradley

Over the years these guys listened to all kinds of music “On the road we listen to a lot of James Brown, Funkadellic, Parliament, Charles Bradley and other soulful artists. Also been jammin’ MF Doom’s Special Herbs, which are his instrumental tracks. Those kinds of sounds had a big influence on this record. I think in general this record is a huge departure from the previous LLC albums. We kinda refer to it as our soul record. There’s a lot of different flavors on this one.”

Many flavors, yes, but like LLC’s best work, it’s Freddy’s ability to pull the best out of just two people to create some of the nastiest, gnarliest rock’n’roll to be put on wax.

“I think one of the most important aspects of creating music is collaboration,” Freddy explains. “I’ve never refused to listen to other people’s ideas. Something amazing always comes out of it. Collaboration is like the fifth element. You can’t do it all on your own. You can write a whole album. Have it perfect and polished. Bring it in the studio and cut it. But I truly believe the magic don’t happen unless you get it a little f**ked up, run it thru the dirt, dip it in some butter, serve it up, then let the folks working with you throw their flavor on it. And then you got something special.”

I’m happy to have this album on vinyl and able to listen to it the next months. Follow Left Lane Cruiser here for more music!

Left Lane Cruiser – Liquor Store

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