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  Cigarettes And Caffeine Nightmares  
  The Delta Routine  
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The Delta Routine are a Milwaukee-based band that channels the spirit of the early Rolling Stones. This is catchy, bluesy rock music. They remind of what Jack White would sound like fronting Alabama Shakes. This type of retro music does not appeal to everyone, but i think they do a good job with it.

The real standout track here is Switchblade. It has a great rumbling bass riff, the voice a little upfront, the guitars in layers, one monotonous and grinding while the other soars. But it has that old swagger. I can see Jagger prancing across the stage singing this, singing "Give 'em fire / Give 'em hell" while the guitars grind along.

New York Avenue is a completely different tune. A little keyboard riff chimes and the drums echo loudly as the vocalist scratches along, his voice worn and battered like an old blues singer. And The Delta Routine layer in strings, which is an odd mix with the bluesy percussion of the rest of the song, yet somehow really works.

The album's closer, People Like You starts with a chorus singing along, and then the song becomes a head bopping Motown-ish tune like something off of Every Night, the guitars a clattering noise layered with xylophone and an awesome bass line worthy of The Funk Brothers.

One other tune i really like is Rachael St. Joe which reeks of stale beer and old cigarette smokes at some honky talk, singing about a girl with "Tattoo of Alabama in the small of her back" while the slide guitar rolls along. But then on the chorus the guitar goes into overdrive and suddenly The Delta Routine sound, slightly, like The Undertones. A strange dichotomy, but it really works.

This is pretty good stuff. The Delta Routine are not breaking any new ground, but they do what they do well. I bet the band is a blast in concert, the crowd drunk and dancing along. And you know, sometimes you need bands like that.

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