New Albums from The Congress & Better Than Bacon

Words By Nicholas Stock

Every spring without fail bands head into the studio and put out some incredible work. In an era where it almost goes against logic to record professionally, bands pour their heart and soul into CDs, vinyl, and digital downloads. Despite current trends, this format if far from dead and continues to display what bands are capable of in a controlled setting. While live shows seem to be the main source of income for most touring acts, albums give fans something to take with them long after the concert is over. A couple CDs have made their way to my desk this month and they are definitely worth mentioning.

The Congress: Whatever You Want

The Congress is a breakout rock band from Denver, Colorado. Their new album Whatever You Want is a complex and powerful demonstration of what modern day rock and roll can be. The heavy hitting songs shock listeners with their rich rhythms but are balanced by Jonathan Meadows’ poignant vocals. Tracks like "Keep Virginia" and "Johan Gideon" exemplify the authoritative songwriting that has become a hallmark of The Congress. The musicianship of the band percolates to the forefront of Whatever You Want with solid grooves and scorching guitar work. The juxtaposition of rock and soul in The Congress’s sound becomes notably comfortable due in large part to the solid bass playing of both Dwight Thompson and Scott Lane who pulls double duty on the keys. After a couple years on the road it’s obvious that The Congress is hitting their stride. Whatever You Want hits stores May 4, do yourself a solid and pick up a copy. You won’t be disappointed.

Better Than Bacon: Self-Titled Album

Better Than Bacon sets the bar pretty high given my predilection for pork products. However this fledgling band out of Fort Collins has an intriguingly classic tone to their sound. Mixing elements of blues, funk, soul, rock, psychedelic and jam with sizzling guitar, Better Than Bacon plays like a band straight out of a bygone era. Their self-titled album adds horns and keys to their already full four-piece sound. The songwriting team of James Yearling and Ryan Zwanziger crafted all ten tracks on the album. Between the two of them they delve into narrative tracks about lost love like “Not A Sad Song,” and the bass-driven homage to boozing “Twelve Years.” Overall the entire CD is a well-constructed journey that takes a fresh look at some often overlooked genres. Both the vocals of James and Ryan have a wide range and compliment each other remarkably well. With no official release date as of yet on Better Than Bacon, you can pick up a copy at a show or stream it online at their website. I look forward to seeing these guys live very soon.


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