This is an interesting record, taking a trip back to ’71 and looking at former Rationals man Scott Morgan’s short time with the band Guardian Angel, which would later evolve into Lightnin’. Like most of Morgan’s best work, Guardian Angel had a heavy R&B influence, softening the hard rock ’n’ roll. Guardian Angel only released one single back in the day, but Easy Action was able to raid the vaults and compile a really exciting, important retrospective album. The band also got that little bit better when former Savage Grace man Al Jacquez joined and beefed up the vocals. —Brett Callwood
Laith Al-Saadi is one of our great blues musicians right now and on his latest release he’s roped in a bunch of other greats of the genre. The likes of Jim Keltner, Lee Sklar and Jimmy Vivino, among many others, joined up with Al-Saadi, resulting in a blues album that is emotional, authentic and beautifully performed. Opening track “Gone” is somber and sounds like it belongs in the past, then the follow-up “What It Means” is upbeat and fun. It’s a dynamic record, taking the listener through the whole gamut of emotions without ever sounding like a patchwork album. —Brett Callwood
The Black Lips
Underneath the Rainbow
After bashing away with reckless abandon for the past 15 years, Atlanta’s Black Lips have the primitive, garage-punk thing down. Where to next? The band’s last effort teamed the Lips up with Amy Winehouse’s knob-twiddler Mark Ronson, while the latest brings in Tommy Brenneck (Dap-Kings) and Patrick Carney (Black Keys). The new record is typical Lips fare, given breezier, country-pop production thanks to Carney (lead single “Boys in the Woods” may as well be a Black Keys B-side). It’s fine, but it’s a shame the Lips didn’t switch things up more — one of the more fun moments is “Funny,” a Gary Glitter-aping glam rocker. —Lee DeVito
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