Chris Hess and Adam Winn have wild imaginations, but that comes with the territory having started their music career last year with a brilliant concept album, that, for reasons unknown, remains unheard. With the nicknames Hot Damn Sweet Huckleberry Winn (Winn) and Cookie SugarHips (Hess), the duo make up the sleeper rock band Bastard Lovechild of Rock and Roll.
Hailing from Jacksonville, Fla., Winn and Hess have creativity on their side, which can be heard up front on the debut EP. The sprawling nine-track epic entitled Bim Bom puts everything on the table for the duo.
As long time friends and surfing buddies, Hess and Winn would come together during a moment of desperation for Hess.
After loosing his drummer before a gig, Hess, at the last moment, called on his old friend Winn to fill in. Things ended up working out so well that after that night Winn stuck around, and the two began creating music.
Most of the original concepts behind Bim Bom came from Hess. These songs had been his vision for quite some time as he had built characters and stories for which the EP mainly centers. The story, which can be found on the back of a physical copy of the album, is as follows.
Set in victoria era Spain, SugarHips finds himself in a secret and very forbidden relationship with Delisa who is of a separate social class and is of Spanish blood. This is a problem because SugarHips is not either of those, and Delisa’s father strictly forbids this kind of fraternizing. Things are greatly compounded when Delisa becomes pregnant and her father denounces the child as a bastard. From there a baby, and the band, is born.
Again, this is only their first album.
Describing their sound would take one through the gamete of rock covering the past four decades. The EP starts off with steamy slide guitars and crunchy chords, while Hess and Winn give off Cream like harmonies; ghostly and psychedelic making the opening heavy all around. From there they’ve managed to cram every awe inspiring staple of rock, from Zeppelin blues redox to T. Rex inspired glam. Their youth shows though, as they also pull from relative new comers like The Black Angels for further inspiration among synth driven “booty shaking rock and roll.” Inspirations aside however, what this band does is unlike anything going on now in indie rock. This is so because it’s consistent with out writing the same song over an over. The only consistency really is in the verity of angles that the band is able to cover.
Then there’s the Boss Enova. Hess has a love for the stuff and ties the EP together with gorgeous interludes that offer a break from the wall of rock and continue the more intimate moments of the story. “My Blushing Grape” is a short exchange between SugarHips and Delisa that has them admitting their love is wrong, but that it won’t stop them. Delicate Spanish guitars replace the overdrive for a stunning track that diversifies itself from the commonplace folk song.
Hess’s vocal range is incredible.
He hits falsettos that raise goose bumps on “Hallelujah I’ve Been BLORR’n again,” a track that relishes in the Boss Enova and the rock simultaneously. “Boy You Need Jesus” has him showing off jumping into the high notes and a few vocal flourishes that are a reminder of what great vocals can do to a rock song.
There’s so much going on with this band it’s hard to believe that a) they’re so new, and b) the rest of the world isn’t raving about them yet. Hess is a prodigy with a real talent for writing riveting rock and roll. With Winn along his side, aiding in the writing of new material, what comes next will be worth it.