Well God dam…put some Budweiser on ice, gun the throttle on the Mustang, wind down the windows and let’s kick up some dust on Route 666!!! If Sun Gods in Exile haven’t come up with the ultimate soundtrack to an irresponsibly fast ride down the open roads with the sun blazing and a hot blonde by your side then we may as well all travel by bus!!!
Guitarist Tony D’Agostino may have last served time in stoner groovers Cortez but in his current outfit he lets the sun beat down on his neck and the Marshall stacks run wild. This is hard assed, southern fired rock and roll at its best bringing to mind the furious chicken scratch guitar playing of Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot with the riffing majesty of AC/DC. This is as authentic as it gets.
From furious album opener “Eye for an Eye” with its refrain of “Downstairs I smell the cocaine” to the slow burn southern twin guitar freak out of album closer “495” this is a relentless ride to rock and roll Utopia. Hands up who wants a riff? Sun Gods have a truck load and once you’re done with that they have a truck load more. You want choruses? Well let’s look in the bag and we can pull out the aforementioned “Eye for an Eye”, “Heaven Help Us All”, “Mexico”, “Rise Up”…Hell, this piece of plastic is wall to wall catchy hooks that you’ll be singing for weeks. You want the best damn southern rock song that Skynyrd forgot to write? Well thankfully Sun Gods in Exile will throw “Hellwell” on the table with a gap toothed grin, a tip of the Stetson and a knowing wink. You want a singer who sounds like he’s just had the time of his life in a cathouse with a bottle of hooch and a pound of weed? Adam’s your man as his Bon Scott meets Danny Joe Brown wail cracks and growls all over these ten tunes. You want guitarists that are not afraid to wail and solo? Move over all you baggy trousered nu-metal chancers, don your flares and cowboy boots and let your fingers do the talkin’ like it’s 1975!!! Each song jumps to the twin Gibson attack…this is how Marshalls were meant to be used…loud and proud!!!
You would be forgiven for thinking that these guys had grown up around the swamps of Florida or kicking up dust in Texas but to find that they’re actually from Portland, Maine…about as far north as you can get in the States before hitting Canada…makes this album even more of a surprise as this has redneck written right through it.
Small Stone Records has a rare knack of plunging its hand into the shit bucket of modern music and pulling out more nuggets of gold than a mid west prospector and in Sun Gods in Exile their reputation will stay intact for a long time to come. Summer’s coming, the open road is calling and my car stereo is crying out for more.
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall