My first-ever official album review was in the spring of 2008, shortly after the release of The Parlor Mob‘s debut, “And You Were a Crow.” I had been swooning over the New Jersey rock quintet’s classic rock styles for a few weeks, and knew it was obscure enough that the whole rest of the world hadn’t already reviewed it. It turns out to have been a fitting start to my life as a music blogger, because my basic mission has become to give the great unheard a better chance at being heard.
So now we come full circle, after I’ve opened many an ear to the likes of Archie Powell & the Exports, Frontier Ruckus, Ghost Power!!!, Gun Lake and many many other lesser-known artists I have a great passion for. The Parlor Mob recently released its long-awaited sophomore album, “Dogs,” and here I am once again having the opportunity to write about what’s so magnificent about this band, and possibly wording it more eloquently than I had back in my greener days.
However, this time I’m reviewing a very different Parlor Mob than the one that debuted in 2008. While “And You Were a Crow” sounded like something dredged straight from the 1970s, “Dogs” comes forth with a decidedly more modern rock sound, relying strongly on dramatic choruses and heavy chord progressions. In the instrumentation, you can still hear a lot of that early inspiration of hard rock, blues-rock and metal, but the melodies ring far more closely to the likes of Three Doors Down or, taking a step up in quality, Stroke 9.