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Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - The Lion The Beast The Beat - Hollywood Records

June, 2012 CD of the Month

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals have come a long way from their blues-rock beginnings in Waitsfield, Vermont. For Grace, she's finally emerging as the superstar frontwoman that so many of us knew she had the potential to be. And on the latest album, The Lion The Beast The Beat she grabs hold of the spotlight and seems unwilling to let it go. We know what a commanding presence this band, and Grace in particular, can be on stage, yet until now capturing that on record has been a challenge. The Lion The Beast The Beat may be the step in the right direction.

Let’s be clear, The Lion The Beast The Beat is a big 'ole rock record. We're a few albums removed from Nothing But the Water, sonically probably even further. But what we hear on this latest collection is perhaps more indicative of what we've come to know about Grace. She’s a big personality and this is a set of songs that not only embraces that but matches it musically. There are some thrilling moments on this album, particularly the title-track which starts things. An almost 80s-ish anthemic, pulsating rocker, "The Lion The Beast The Beat" sets a tone for an album that is unapologetic in its ambition.

Don’t be surprised to see nods going in the direction of Dan Auerbach again. The Black Keys frontman, who has been working with everyone musically from Dr. John to Michael Kiwanuka, did lend a hand to this album. He helped co-write & produce a couple songs and it won’t take the biggest Black Keys fan to figure out which ones ("Never Go Back, "Loneliest Soul"). Now, does The Lion The Beast The Beat have cross-over potential? Absolutely, and for a band that’s been at it as long as Grace & the Nocturnals they’ve earned it. More people discovering this band is a very good thing and it should happen with this album.

Live Performance
Listen to Grace Potter & The Nocturnals set from WXPN's 2012 NonCOMMVention.

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