Album Review | ROCK

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, ‘Electric Slave’


The best way to experience a band like the gritty Austin, Texas, rock and wrigglers Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears is in a sweaty juke joint on a hot summer night, Mason jar of moonshine in hand. In the absence of that availability, or better yet, preparation for that eventuality, fans can content themselves with “Electric Slave.” The atmosphere is fevered from the jump, as the album kicks off with the fuzzy and ferocious “Skulldiggin.’ ” Lewis and his backing quintet keep the heat on through 10 more garage-blues tunes that conjure Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, James Brown, and a youthful Rolling Stones. From the careening “Guilty” to the frenzied “Vampire,” the band is clearly having a good time. Although it meanders in places, the mood remains high-spirited. And when you get the sense that the whole enterprise could collapse at any second on the ode to mature women “Young Girls” it’s easy to accept Lewis’s invite to “Come to My Party.” (Out Tuesday)

Sarah Rodman

ESSENTIAL “Skulldiggin’ ”

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears play Royale on Sept. 12.

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