Offering vintage-sounding blues-rock as filtered through the wah-wah guitar of a middle aged Frenchman, Don Cavalli’s “Cry Land” sounds like a recently unearthed ’60s gem that was recorded over a fast, booze-soaked lost weekend.
Talented without being showy, guitarist Cavalli twists standard blues-rock conventions and injects them with shots of funk, punk, garage and psychedlia. The distorted crunch of “River” and the Cream-like “Agression” are infatuated with Chicago blues, but never come across as simple imitation or parody.
The repetitive robo-rocker “New Hollywood Babylon” doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the tunes, but it is also the disc’s most adventurous and memorable tune, and it highlights Cavalli’s jerky, David Byrne-meets-Muddy Waters voice. Album closes with a splendid rave-up on Gershwin’s “Summertime.”