The Unclean are a blues-rock power trio from Ohio and, quite frankly, they rock and they rock hard. As raw and seemingly untouched by polished modern production techniques, “The Eagle” is the band’s second album – the first being 2008’s “No Excuse Necessary” – and is chock-full of bar-room rock n’ roll anthems that come from the same whiskey-soaked songbook as ZZ Top and Motörhead but with an added dash of classic Thin Lizzy swagger and the merest hint of Black Sabbath’s downtuned grind. It may not sound the most original brew that’s ever been mixed but it is a potent one.
Beginning with the speed-rush of ‘On We Go’, the album finds its groove and pretty much stays there, deviating slightly with the relatively laid-back and world-weary ‘Not So Bad’ and the slow blues of ‘Been Gone’. But that isn’t to say that every other song sounds the same, as the monstrously catchy biker rock of ‘Strange Kind of Living’ sticks out a mile with its Orange Goblin-esque slippery groove willing you on to headbang as singer/guitarist Bremmy (sounds a lot like a similarly gravel-throated frontman that we all know and love) throws you a vocal hook tailor-made for singing back at the band as they churn it out from the stage.
Easily capturing that greasy live feel that many bands chase after in the studio, “The Eagle” is testament to the power of rock n’ roll in managing to create an irresistible gut-reaction that tells you you’re going to like what you hear. It may not be original, it may not be epic or fancy but it does kick you in the teeth, throw you around a bit and let you know you’ve just had a pummelling courtesy of rock n’ roll. Top stuff.