The Thrillseekers album


(Tone Ranger)


Johnny resWow! If recorded sounds came any fatter than these they would have to be reclassified as obese. Jim Kelly – the fabled guitarist from Crossfire all those years ago – now plays producer and engineer in a studio he built near Lismore, and I suspect there are facilities that probably cost 10 times as much that do not come close to generating this level of quality. The Thrillseekers’ bluesy, groove-based jazz has phenomenal sonic presence: the swelling of Tim Neal’s Hammond C3 organ, for instance, is as monstrous as a king tide rushing in, and Dave Sanders’ drums sounds are meaty and real, and his cymbals stinging.

Kelly’s guitar, meanwhile, shapeshifts between typically quicksilver lines and a more bristling edge and there are guest spots from trumpeter Shannon Marshall and bassist Greg Lyon. My only quibble is that there are several moments where you can hear the music’s energy rising like engine revs, until it is begging to engage another gear, and the band prefers to keep it where it is than let it ramp up into overdrive. Although the results are never less than tasty, something genuinely thrilling may have been in the offing.