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Last Will and Testament
Their first full-length effort is a terrific follow-up to their promising debut, Loaded, and already an instant lock for one of the year’s best. Don’t let the goth design fool you: this is Americana-inflected rock with echoes of Steve Earle, the Jayhawks and the Bodeans. Frontman Eric Alter’s rousing highway rock anthems provide the perfect chassis for lead guitarist Mick Izzo’s searing, soaring lead lines. The cd begins with the catchy, radio-ready hit Cradle of the Night, a knowing tale of infidelity that drips with authenticity. Something tells me that I know the exact spot where the chick in the song took off her wedding ring and went into the bedroom with that guy. The next cut, Guardian Angel, has to be one of the best revenge songs ever written: in his deadpan twang, Alter recalls every nasty detail of the girl who thought she was an angel but somehow didn’t quite make the cut. Other standout tracks include the frustration anthem My Old Town, an examination of every Manhattan expatriate’s nightmare; The Other Side of Love, which would have been a monster FM radio hit 25 years ago (that’s a compliment); and Home Again, another showcase for Izzo’s fat Gibson guitar licks. There’s a streak of black humor here that shows up from time to time like skidmarks on a back road. "I wanna give you wildflowers, before they’re growing on my grave," sings Alter on the cd’s final track, a sprawling, slightly Allmans-inflected concert staple that winds up with the ‘Guns trademark dueling guitars burning up the asphalt. Yet another great album from a year that promises to be the best we’ve had in a long time.
--Alan Young, Trifecta, March 4, 2004
Last Will and Testament in Time Out New York
“Local quartet the Sloe Guns burped out a self-released CD, Last Will and Testament that has a plainspoken, easygoing nature about it. You can hear all their rootsy influences in almost every note, and the way the Guns comport themselves, that’s just fine.” (Available at
--Time Out New York, Sept 23, 2004
Review of "Last Will and Testament" in Country Standard Time
The album may be called "Last Will and Testament," but The Sloe Guns are far from dying. Eric Alter and his New York band come out slugging - check out the tip o' the hat to psychedelia with the backwards-moving sounds before the bombast but ballad-y lead track "Cradle of the Night" - but add a few new touches that extend Sloe Guns' Long Ryders-meet-Led Zeppelin approach. The delicate interplay on "Lyin' Heart" shows skill in subtle arrangements, while the vocal harmonies on "The Other Side Of Love" add a little sweetener in the mix. Never fear - the band can still get scrappy, as they do on the heavy-guitar finger-pickin' "Gypsy Rose" and the straight-ahead rocker "My Old Town." Alter's lead vocals have an edge to them, as if to say he won't go down slowly, if he has to fall at all. The defiant stance power these songs forward. As this album shows, Sloe Guns still have plenty of ammunition. – Brian Steinberg (Available at
--Country Standard Time, October 2004
Review of "LOADED" in The Country Standard Time
The four-song EP from New York's own SloeGuns, lives up to its name. The lead track, "Dillon," opens with an acoustic guitar riff that sounds like Led Zep channeled through the Long Ryders. You'll hear all kinds of references thoroughout, from Crazy Horse to the Wallflowers.
All four songs play like miniature epics, with protagonists locked in a hotel room wondering what to do after committing a heinous crime, or heroines leaving roses by the door and thinking about freedom. Throughout these four-minute stories, the quartet stays tight on harmonies and instrumental interplay, offering tall tales and electric-guitar atmosphere laced with keyboard and harmonica and all sorts of Americana allusions. We'll wait for the full album before making a final judgement, but based on this small sampling, it sounds like the Sloe Guns have lots of ammunition in store.
- Brian Steinberg CST
--Country Standard Time July 2001
Review of The SloeGuns CD "LOADED"
"The SloeGuns put a nice spin on Southern Rock,
with an emphasis on the 'rock' rather than the 'Southern' part"
--Time Out NY Issue#260, Sept 14-21 2000