Mastering the work of another only strengthens one’s roots, paving the road to reinvent the sounds that marked generations past. The Mokats were a popular English (pop rock) cover band before they decided to put their own tracks to the test with their debut EP, Crossover Blues. Maxx Manning, Andrew Boulton, Brad Bannister and Tom Walker form a solid entity that knows a thing or two about singing the blues. The EP is packed with contemporary blues‐laced tracks that display the talent inherent in these fine blokes.
Crossover Blues channels tones of greats Kenny Wayne and Stevie Ray, with soulful wails accompanied by a finely tuned trio behind. The songs on the album have a feel‐good sound, in particular “Keeping Me Away From You.” This track would fit snug in any summer block party soundtrack, with its knee‐tappin’ jive and sweet solos woven throughout. “Awkward Feeling” portrays somewhat of an island sound, mixed with a taste of the blues. This fits in nicely with the goal of the album, to crossover from the blues of the past to the rock sounds of today’s radio. The tracks just feel right, as if we’ve known them all along. The big hit of the lot is “Truth Don’t Cost a Penny.” On this number, The Mokats meticulously layer instruments, creating both playful and elaborate rhythms. The catchy keyboard and bass lines add great depth to the track, overlaid nicely by the lead riff. The backing vocals add yet another layer, as they echo the lead vocal through chorus lines. Lastly, as not to leave behind their roots, The Mokats leave us with a cover, “It’s All Over Now,” a song pioneered by The Womacks and made famous by The Rolling Stones.
The Mokats have made their ‘crossover’ into the self‐generated music they can now call their own, and have proven your roots determine where you’ve been, but the future is wide open when the page is blank, the pen in your hand. Crossover Blues is a fun, upbeat debut that showcases the talents and a new face for the band. Get ready for The Mokats.
The Review: 9/10
The Big Hit
– Truth Don’t Cost a Penny
Review by Don Tice