by Robert Bell
ROYAL THUNDER, ADAM FAUCETT & THE TALL GRASS BUFFALO
10 p.m. White Water Tavern.
Man y'all, "CVI" — the full-length released last year by Relapse Records from Georgia trio Royal Thunder — is bad-to-the-bone start to finish. There are straight-up rockers ("No Good," parts of the otherwise spaced-out "South of Somewhere"), moments of Judas Priest-like theatricality (opener "Parsonz Curse") and '90s alt-rock from the heavier end of the spectrum ("Whispering World") and Earth-y desert twang (the spooky, slow-build "Sleeping Witch"). The album closes with the slow-fist-pump-inducing "Black Water Vision."
Now, any assessment of Royal Thunder would be incomplete without noting the badassness of singer/bassist Mlny Parsonz. She's wailing with the ferocity of Ann Wilson one moment and cooing like an evil Stevie Nicks the next. Of course, even a really great singer can't carry a band if the tunes aren't there, and fortunately, Royal Thunder writes varied, interesting, engaging songs that'll pull you back in for repeat listens. The band is supposed to be killer live so don't skip this one.
Opening up is the redoubtable Arkansas great Adam Faucett with The Tall Grass Buffalo.