Detroit's Soledad Brothers -- named after the three African-American inmates of California's Soledad Prison who were convicted of killing a guard there in 1970 -- layer the faux-revolutionary shtick a little thick on Voice of Treason, their third studio album. The reach for meaning is endemic to the roots-fixated garage-blues scene over which lead Soledad Johnny Walker's buddy Jack White presides; consider White's contributing songs to the Civil War flick Cold Mountain, or Jon Spencer's hiring au courant beatsmiths to help produce his latest. Still, the Soledads' self-alignment with a complicated struggle against entrenched power conjures a little more weight than their scrappy, defiantly mid-fi roadhouse rock can support. I mean, do guys in prison really care about out-of-print Mitch Ryder singles? When they lighten up, the Soledads make a vinegary dead-leaves racket: "Cage That Tiger" sounds caked with fuzz, its paper-bag drums battling Walker's guitar for air; and the jittery "I'm So Glad" is Clinic with mittens on. Acoustic, slide-kissed closer "Lorali" is lovely enough to make Jude Law and Nicole Kidman not mind sleeping in a burlap sack, but so was a tune written by Sting.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.