Review: Five Horse Johnson

Five Horse Johnson
“The Last Men on Earth”
(Small Stone)

There was a revival of Southern-tinged hard rock boogie that crested in the late ’80s. Raging Slab rode that wave to major label success. Now, Raging Slab is a has-been and the sheen of the new-old angle on this has faded. Five Horse Johnson arose out of Toledo from the aftershocks of that revival to be premier members of a third wave of hard rock with a rootsy feel and pronounced bottom.

On “The Last Men on Earth” Five Horse Johnson fails to add some new twist to give this tired beast a much-needed shot in the arm. The greater number of guitar solos signal regression, not progression. However, I am being too hard on this album because taking it off the timeline, this is an excellent album of that big-sounding blues-rock that also speaks to us from the early ZZ Top albums and the early Black Crowes.