moe. - No Guts, No Glory (Sugar Hill)
The guys in this veteran jam band originally set out to make an acoustic album. Boy, did they ever veer off course. After hooking up with producer David Aron (U2, Snoop Dogg, Prince), they completely scrapped the acoustic project and started over. The resulting album has classic rock overtones, something that's apparent right from the opening notes of "Annihilation Blues" a song with an infectious (and decidedly electric) guitar riff that almost demands you crank up your stereo, especially as the tune kicks into a heavy mid-song jam. With its psychedelic vibe, "This I Know" could pass for a Meat Puppets song and "Same Old Story" delivers some serious funk. Given that this veteran band has been going strong for 20 years now, it shouldn't come as a surprise that it's delivered such an assured effort. And yet, the album shows that the band, though pigeonholed as a jam act, truly defies genre.