August 31, 2019

The Achievers are an electric pub blues band with more than a hint of the gospel about their good-time, upbeat rock’n’roll. Every song on this, their second album, is an original, mostly backed with multi-part harmony vocals. Traditional and quirky at the same time, upbeat and joyful yet lackadaisically laid-back, there’s no doubt this is party music to revel in. Ever Lovin’ Mess is probably the most traditional blues anthem, unexpectedly changing key and tempo for the harp solo at the end, and also one album highlight among many. The rest of the set ranges from the easygoing rock of Easy Line to the funky, staccato soul of Turn Around, to the bayou groove of Careful Sabrina, which would only take an accordion backing to make it zydeco. Only one track ventures into minor-key intensity, the early Fleetwood Mac-influenced Qualities; every other song is an undoubted foot-tapper.

The guys bill themselves as ‘gospel for the godless’ and the album as a ‘humanist hymnal for modern times’, and although there are tons of gospel influences throughout, the lyrics are mostly devoid of any overtly religious overtones – except for the funky 1960s soul vibe of See Me Back Jesus to close the album. Make of that what you will, it’s groovy, chilled-out, funky fun and well worth a listen.