The rocking UK trio Willie and The Bandits have recently released their latest album Paths and gearing up to embark on their first ever US tour.
Written by Blake Hall
Paths immediately invites us to a driven hard rock sound with equal doses of blues rock and classic rock. Discovering this band for the first time, there is an awful lot that I really admire here. I can hear a rock and roll sound that is incredibly pure and explorative within the genre.
Kicking off with the blues rocker “One Way”, right away their energy captivates with a song that seems to be about greed in the modern age. In this song, the band showcases their bluesy roots along with a hard rocking attitude. A nice introduction of what to expect from this band. “Make Love” has a swagger and groove that sounds straight out of the 60’s. Kind of has a classic feel to it. This one really had me tapping my toes and feeling good as lead singer Willie exclaims, “make love!”.
“Victim Of The Night” is an excellent piece of modern blues. The guitar work is particularly special on this track. The organ in the background is a very nice touch as well. “Four Million Days” is a haunting slow burner track that builds into something huge with guitar work reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. I can only imagine what a beast it would be to hear this one live. “Chakra” is a very unique groove and an awesome funky groove to drive it. This beautiful song makes one reflect on the world around us.
“Keep It On The Downlow” took me by surprise with a bit of rapping in the verse. What makes these guys truly special is how diverse they are within the rock genre. They aren’t afraid to branch out and explore all kinds of approaches towards a bluesy rock sound. “Judgement Day” is a beautiful song and one with great power. “How Long” is a beautiful song about moving forward within depression and one of the most beautiful on the album. Willie’s vocals are reminiscent of Soundgarden’s late Chris Cornell. His voice often sounds influenced by him but it’s especially prominent on this song. I wonder if his recent death is the basis for this song. A haunting, devastating and uplifting song all at once and is a real stand out track.
“Find My Way” is a real garage rocker that once again embarks on a nostalgic trip from previous decades. This one is an absolute blast and evokes a longing for freedom. “Watch You Grow” is a quieter ballad further showcasing a great deal of diversity. “Retribution” is captivating conclusion and also one that is heavily reminiscent of Chris Cornell as well as a southern rock sound that’s Allman Brother-esque.
This is a fantastic album that is absolutely worth checking out. These guys wear their diverse hard rock influences on their sleeves, yet it doesn’t sound out of place for a 2019 sound. Within these songs, the lyrics portray a genuine care for the world around them. Anybody who claims rock is dead owes it to themselves to check this album out.
You can check them out on tour in the US and online below:
- August 24 Playing with Fire Festival Omaha, NE
- August 25 Triple Crown Whisky Bar Davenport, AI
- August 26 Rochaus West Dundee, IL
- August 27 Melody Inn Indianapolis, IN
- August 28 Brickyard BBQ & Bar Knoxville, TN
- August 29 TBA Nashville, TN
- August 30 Smith’s Atlanta, GA
- August 31 The Cave Chapel Hill, NC
- September 3 Iridium New York, NY
Follow them at: