In no way significantly worse than anything else that gets played on album rock radio stations, the self-titled debut by West Virginia’s American Minor at long last answers the stultifying non-question of when a new version of The Black Crowes would emerge. While much of American Minor rocks harder than The Black Crowes did, the band doesn’t show off any hooks as memorable as the chorus to “She Talks To Angels” or that ubiquitous “Hard To Handle” cover, so American Minor ultimately comes off as just another act with the polished, relatively unassailable technical chops to sound like an Allman Brothers and Rolling Stones tribute act. Even on the album’s best moments—such as the hard-edged opener “Walk On” and the organ-heavy “Mr. Queen”—they’re overwhelmed by their rather obvious influences instead of building in any meaningful way on the blues-rock legacy those influences established. Of course, given that Lenny Kravitz has made a highly profitable, Grammy-endorsed career out of precisely that problematic approach, it’s debatable whether American Minor really presents a “problem” at all for the outfit, and it’s likely that the sizable frat-boy contingent will have a new favorite band.
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