Muscle Shoals, Alabama, sitting about 120 miles away from the country music capital of the world, is one of the southern United States’ best kept secrets.
In the 1960s and 70s, “the Shoals” produced a stream of hit music that flowed more freely than the Tennessee River it sits on. Records most notably cut in this small town are “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses” off of The Rolling Stones’ 1971 powerhouse record, Sticky Fingers, Aretha Franklin’s debut, “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You,” and even Bob Segar’s classic, “Old Time Rock and Roll.”
In more recent years, the Shoals and its surrounding quad-cities have produced acts such as Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and John Paul White of the Grammy-winning group, the Civil Wars. But what is the state of Shoals music today?
Take those old records off the shelf, or open your favorite music streaming app, because Florence, Ala. hailing grunge band, Yes Trespassing, has released their highly awaited, debut single, “Angelica.”
Yes Trespassing has all of the tools they need to take not only the local, but the global rock music scene by storm. They originated in the backyard garage of their bassist, Jonathan Mackey, and “Angelica” was written on Mackey’s own back porch.
Together, Mackey, lead singer and guitarist, Trey Nichols, lead guitarist, Emmett Redding, and drummer, Dylan Johnson have crafted a track that perfectly captures the spirit of the 1990’s grunge and early 2000’s alternative rock movements without sounding like a rip-off of any of the popular groups of these eras.
I was amazed when I, who has loved the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Hole, The Killers, Tonic, and Third Eye Blind since I was in the single digit age range, could not find a single thing to directly compare Yes Trespassing’s sound to, except for my own standard of quality music.
“Angelica” tells the star-crossed tale of a whirlwind of a love interest who is described as “the queen of the night and the talk of the town.” A woman with such a title cannot be easily pinned down, which the lyrics illustrate from the first verse, stating, “I’m never gonna fix you; you’re never gonna fix this.”
The track’s infectious hook and riffs take residence in the listener’s mind from the first play, without ever becoming redundant. I cannot wait to headbang along to the instrumental solo at one of their live shows.“Angelica” is an earworm for those who hate top-40 pop radio or anyone who simply enjoys a good tune. It shows the strengths of each musician in the group, while only being the first brick in a road of great music.
Yes Trespassing is set to release their full EP, When the Light is Gone, this summer.