Many of you have probably heard the newest EP entitled Static from Texas’ own BLACKTOP MOJO. It dropped May 29th, 2020 amidst the United States in total chaos; protests turned to devastating riots in over 20 cities across the country spawned by the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. Not to mention the country still riddled with active CoVid-19 cases, with many of the nation still in #lockdown mode, it might seem surprising that bands like BTM gambled on releasing music to fans when music might be secondary on their minds. Would their release be lost in the shuffle of protests, pandemonium, political mish-mash, and stories from all over the country flew at us like balls from an auto-pitcher set on high?

Fans of BTM have had over a week to let Static settle in and have had time to soak up the four tracks offered. However, it’s not like the release was dropped out of the blue to unknowing fans. Like other bands that had their tours and releases come to an abrupt stop in March from the virus, BTM used this time to their advantage and live streamed a weekly YouTube show. The Matt & Catt Show was a much needed staple for fans new and old during the Nation’s Quarantine Time.

Personally, I salute BTM for taking to the YouTube airwaves and engaging with people during this weird time. It has been difficult for so many that have had to Shelter In Place to keep a solid footing in reality when faced with having to stay home, inside, alone or with the same person or people for upwards of 3 months, only going out for groceries when needed. This is enhanced to the Nth degree when this situation has never happened and the health of friends, family, and ourselves is at stake.

Now I have your track by track review of Static for y’all and feel free to listen while you read. Hit the link to Spotify below and follow along, Lovelies!

The End – what can I say about this track other than this: IT IS EPIC! I haven’t heard a song in a long time that singles out the brilliance of every player all at once, at the same time. This track packs a punch and will be a defining marker in the band’s history. Why, you ask? Just listen to MATT JAMES’ voice and I think you’ll see what I mean. If you listen, the control in his voice covers you like a weighted blanket. It’s not that this element has been missing from previous recordings, but The End just highlights MATT’S ability to bring it better or more clearly. Coupled with his often overlooked skill to wordsmith, his lyrics in The End are lobbed out for you to catch. On drums, NATHAN strings together an unabridged tempo that make the song’s complicity tight. He brings the fire, for sure. CATT blends his bass tone with the beat and the melody perfectly. The song also shines a light on just how talented the newest member (kinda) CHUCK is with the guitar. He and RYAN see-saw riffs and chords throughout the entire track that ooze their mastery of rock n roll right out of the speakers and into your whole listening self.

Watch Me Drown – the strong points of this song are wrapped up in both the lyrics and the pull of the melody. MATT commits it here, and you won’t find anything held back in this song. It’s the parts that make the whole in this song and gives it legs for those boots to take you on any journey. There are thick, thick grooves that originate with the drums and end with CATT’S bassline, making a smooth path for CHUCK and RYANS guitars to drag you down it. This track is a big winner! I love it!

Leave It Alone – has an intro that will make you squint it’s so bright. Unlike looking into the sun though, Leave It Alone won’t blind you. It takes the tinny tones of the guitars and brush MATT’S vocals on ’em. Almost like you’re hearing the song’s warning or reminder throughRYAN & CHUCK’S guitars. However you interpret it, BTM collectively show you that what they’ve got musically, is only going to get better. BTM don’t have to make it better again, it already is.

Signal’s Gone – an interesting track where metaphors in the lyrics stack up for you to pick their meanings that fit you. It is the summary of Static that does not create a conclusion, but it yields to a clearer channel for BLACKTOP MOJO. Not because they were on the wrong one in the past, but I think it sums up where they’re going to go in the future. I dig the twangs and the sound bites that almost make you uncomfortable as you listen; wrestling with the change or the lack of that thing that stands out in the front of your mind.

Suffice to say, Static packs what BTM brought to the table in prior releases and a glimpse of what’s to come from future releases. If they stay with the unconventional methods in songwriting that they do now and IMHO, what separates them from most Rock Bands of 2020, no telling what’ll be in store for their future. All I know is that I want to be here when it happens, every time!

Well, there you have it my friends! I hope you’ll go purchase BLACKTOP MOJO’S newest Static wherever you purchase music! Go give them some love on YouTube and follow on social media, they’re not hard to find and I promise you’ll love being in the BTM fold! The band is totally engaged in their fanfare and would love to have you in the family!

Til Next Time – MRML – Cherri