It’s not that often that you hear about insect songs. That’s not to say there haven’t been a swarm of songs that broach the subject – “Vasoline” (Stone Temple Pilots), “Fly On the Wall” (Bobby V), “Butterfly” (Mariah Carey), “Ants Marching” (Dave Matthews Band), “Hive” (311) and “Dog And Butterfly” (Heart) and more. The latest indie band to join the winged ranks is Ventura, California’s The Guitar & Whiskey Club. The track “Flies Like Whiskey” is a get-up-and-go rocker tune that creates a strong buzz.
Don’t get me started on the number of bands with an insect-theme for a name, or a beverage reference. Save that for another column.
The Guitar & Whiskey Club is a tight-band that enlists a heavy rhythm section with staggering guitar riffs. Leading the effort is vocalist Jennifer Wylde, who’s energy fuels this rockin’ machine. Joining her are Jeffrey Donovan on guitar, Seen Robinson on guitar, Scott Smith on bass and drummer Bob Sickels. Together they present an edgy, evolving classic rock sound in “Flies Like Whiskey”.
Lyrically “Flies Like Whiskey” is a tale about happenings in bar, throwing a few back and discovering that a guy walks off with her drink. Wylde roars, “that’s when I knew, I knew it was true, flies like whiskey too” and at one point she laughs. She sings about being on stage and “making her dreams come true” and the visuals the band creates is a happening rock bar on a Saturday night. Everyone having fun, dancing and of course, drinking whiskey. I was half-expecting this song to be a break-up song. I loved how the ‘lead-up’ to her vocals has this acoustic guitar that sounds like a pickup, with a subtle bass line creating strong anticipation. “What’s around the corner?” I thought to myself.
When the song gets to the guitar bridge, the electric guitar is in full-swing. It’s not a talkbox, but Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) fans would turn their heads on this sound. The guitar riffs grip you and have a multi-layered melodic climb. It’s like the guitar came out to play and it’s not letting up! I just adored the back-and-forth between the guitar measures and Wylde’s vocals. The guitars may seem like they are winning, but I think Wylde has the final edge. All the while they are playing it out, the bass and the percussion are slamming it out just as loud. So cool.
So much of “Flies Like Whiskey” reminded me of Bon Jovi, Heart and even Little Texas (“God Blessed Texas”). I think fans of cross-over country rock would agree. I know fans of classic rock will concur.
Listeners looking for some deeper meaning may not find it. I didn’t find this song to be anything but entertaining and fun. Whiskey as a drink isn’t for everyone as some prefer sparkling wine or other alcohol. I’m perfectly okay with this assessment and urge listeners to find the time to A) rock out B) add some fun to the listening life C) play “Flies Like Whiskey” loud!