Editors’ Notes When it comes to young men in 21st-century bands growing out their hair and turning up their amps, all too often their sole musical touchstone is Black Sabbath. But the Columbus, Ohio–based Mount Carmel is an exceptionally loud rock ‘n’ roll trio that’s more interested in bygone boogie-rock than British proto-metal. Mount Carmel's sophomore album, Real Women, plays as if it's simultaneously channeling the hardest, dirtiest moments of early ZZ Top and the first two James Gang records. Singer and guitarist Matt Reed opens the album with the crunchy twang of his Telecaster as “Swaggs” rocks the dirty-denim strut of a Lynyrd Skynyrd jam that’s been sweetened by Cream’s Disraeli Gears. Fans of the late, great Steve Marriott might get chills from the following title track, where Reed approximates Marriott's soulful croon and the result sounds like a lost Humble Pie recording. Bassist Pat Reed and drummer Kevin Skubak both rock as if they learned their craft by playing along with their parents’ record collections. “Choose Wisely” recalls Fire and Water–era Free.

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