Music Review: The Commoners – Restless

Written by: Craig Bailey


Album Title:

Release Date:

The Commoners


5th July 2024

If you are one of the many who headed out recently to catch the Black Crowes on their recent tour of the UK, then I have a perfectly timed album release for you.
The second album from Toronto four-piece (sometimes five-piece) band The Commoners, is the perfect listen for anybody that hankers after a little bit more of the joyous sounds that the brothers Robinson gave us on The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion.

The album kicks off with Devil Teasin’ Me, touting a whiskey barrel load of sass and southern soul. It opens up with a buzzsaw slide guitar and rushes along like a tuned V8 pick up truck with glorious gospel backing vocals complimenting Chris Medhurst’s gritty vocals.

Shake You Off continues the pace on the back of a monster groove laid down by Adam Cannon. It’s like the song just gets faster and faster as it runs away with you. The Way I Am keeps the pace high with a blistering guitar solo from Ross Hayes Citrullo and more helpings of gloriously sweet gospel choir backing vocals.

These opening songs very quickly signpost which influences form the foundations for this band and their music. You will hear them throughout this album, you will recognize them and you will just love how The Commoners are able to take them and mould them into a sound that is still fresh and exciting for a jaded 21st century.

The listener is given a moment to catch their breath on the album’s title track. It meanders along like a deep flowing river on a beautiful acoustic guitar refrain overlaid with sumptuous slide guitar and builds to a staccato crescendo before easing back and Chris’ impassioned vocals carry the song to the end.

The respite is short lived as Gone Without Warning presses the accelerator again with a superb piano riff driving the song along and then Who Are You is all Hammond organ and guitar. This song has a real swagger to it and creates the vibe of good ol’ boys and girls in daisy dukes dancing and beer bottles flying towards the chicken wired surrounded stage.

The searing guitar solo just seems to add to the suffering being conveyed, making this song a truly brilliant stand out moment.

The album’s song titles and lyrics touch on the many aspects of relationships through temptation, loss and separation but it is on Body and Soul where the sometimes corrosive nature of relationships is explored. This track is truly stunning on every level as it takes listener on a journey through its many layers. Chris’ vocals are flooded with raw emotion and agony as he cries out to the subject of his torment. The searing guitar solo just seems to add to the suffering being conveyed, making this song a truly brilliant stand out moment.

Restless is something of an album of two parts. The final four tracks are in sharp contrast to those that preceded them. See You Again is a sumptuous acoustic guitar / Hammond organ ballad telling of loss but also optimism and album closer All That We Have is soft and acoustic. They are very much more ‘lighters held aloft’ in tempo and sentiment. In between these is the wonderous single Too Soon To Know You which takes a perfect little chunk out of all the other songs and combines them into the musical equivalent of Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

If you fancy another helping of the very best Southern rock, roll and soul then be sure to catch The Commoners as they tour the UK in July. It is not often you can get to see the masters and the heirs to their throne in such short succession.

ERB RATING: 8.5/10 


Check out The Commoners on their website and social pages:







Track Listing

1. Devil Teasin’ Me (4.24)
2. Shake You Off (3.55)
3. The Way I Am (3.34)
4. Restless (5.18)
5. Gone Without Warning (4.02)
6. Who Are You (Ain’t Knocked Down) (3.59)
7. Body And Soul (5.31)
8. See You Again (4.44)
9. Too Soon To Know You (4.59)
10. All That We Have (3.14)

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping