The Legal Immigrants are a blues-rocks outfit hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan but whose sound and style are very much rooted in the earthy textures of urban blues-rock luminaries such as The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The White Stripes and others.
This new single “Fork In The Road” is taken from their up-coming album Drugs and Roses and is a fine sample of the particular brand of modern blues-rock that the band are developing; with a tight song structure and conservative composition that reveals the pop-orientated approach to song-writing which the band are obviously cultivating.
The track immediately catches your attention as it begins with some abstract ‘twiddley’ guitar picking; it then quickly settles down with a classic foundational blues riff and solid back-beat which both prop up the song until its conclusion.
The strong vocals of singer and founding member Joe Bockheim soon kick in and brings the song to life. The lyrics deal with the staple blues themes of loss, women and badly-made choices.
From here the song unravels seamlessly and carries you happily along until its ill-advised reach for an unnecessarily grand crescendo; with the inclusion of a superfluous guitar-solo which adds little to the overall effect of the track.
It seems clear that after a slow first few years together – and after numerous line-up changes – The Legal Immigrants are not interested in excluding any potential fans from their music; and it is for this reason that they keep their verses short, their rhythms consistent and their choruses eminently sing-along-able.
This is an extremely tight and well-made single with just enough raucousness and grit to qualify it as a cracking example of modern, mainstream blues-rock.
07/04/15 Founder’s Brewing Co. Grand Rapids, MI
08/08/15 Cowpie Music Festival Caledonia, MI
09/19/15 Perrin Brewing Company Comstock Park, MI
Reviewed by Brendan Callaghan