Album: The Black Crowes, Warpaint (Silver Arrow)

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The Independent Culture

After 2001's Lions, the Black Crowes' singer Chris Robinson became a gossip staple through his hitch to Kate Hudson, while other band-members wandered off up various blind alleys.

Partially reconvened here, they're strengthened by the recruitment of guitarist Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. Dickinson's roots-reared style dovetails neatly with Rich Robinson's on the slide-guitar raunch of "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution" and the riffing of "We Who See the Deep".

Less easily replaceable is Eddie Harsch, whose soulful organ lent emotional depth: new keyboardist Adam MacDougall has yet to impose his character on the band's sound, restricted here mostly to underscoring the guitarists' efforts. Warpaint is a creditable enough comeback, with their heavy blues-rock punctuated by acoustic numbers like the mandolin-led "Locust Street" and the closing chant "Whoa Mule", rather than the ill-judged psychedelic excursions of previous releases; but it's still some way from The Southern Harmony & Bible Companion.

Download this: 'Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution', 'Evergreen', 'Locust Street'