Sounding much more Southern than they actually are, The Rockford Mules are a whiskey spittin', devil chasin', guitar grindin', band from Minneapolis. Mixing fuzzed up rock n' roll with slowed down blues licks, From Devil's Spit to Angel Tears is a debut album full of that typical gruff and grizzly swagger that all real rock bands used to have. And that's just what this four-piece are ? a real rock band, all working jobs and living life outside of the band.
And although they released this album themselves, it's rough and rugged, hard rocking, grungy sound is commercial ? and good ? enough to propel them somewhere decent were some major label A&R hotshot on the case. (Review from KERRANG! Magazine)
"Carrying on the musical traditions of burden and blessing that have been carried to them, The Rockford Mules are saltlick of the earth, blue collar sons of fathers who worked on their own cars in cold garages. Somewhere between the life you intended to live, and the one you found yourself in, came the need for a song. That need and song are the hoof and heart of this mule. The songs draw on the earthy elements of southern rock and electric mud, infused with a 70's dirty denim sonic sneer. The lyrics are from a chapped desert hymnal. The drum and bass sound like the gold tooth snarl of a tough loved dog. The guitars have balls that only Goliath dare envy on his bravest day. This band is the real deal with a hard-earned authenticity you can't fake."
The formula for making good solid hard rock is tricky to come by, many throw their hats in the ring but to no avail. They usually trade quality songwriting for volume and speed, and fail at that. This is not the case however for The Rockford Mules on their album ?From Devil's Spit to Angel's Tears?. Amongst the heavy guitars and drums, and might I add a killer bass sound lie solid melodies delivered with a very digestible voice. A sound that is a hearty mix of Velvet Revolver, Soundgarden and 70's guitar rock; you can groove and do monster head banging at the same time, much praise to The Rockford Mules effort from a guy who finds himself mostly listening to mellower tunes.
The opening track ?Heading East to Get West? has definitive ?Mississippi Queen? vibe; only the Mules have the advantage of thirty plus years of recording advances to help make a larger sonic impact. The second tune ?Step Aside, Son? reminds me of Foghat and I think it is based solely on the vocal tonality. The third track ?Road of Bones Blues? is when the Soundgarden vibe starts piping in, mainly with the vocal effect and the lowered volume of the verses. I won't expend that time to do a track-to-track analysis, other then to say there wasn't a song that disappointed. The guitar playing is not flashy and feels appropriate which is important, playing to fit the song is so much more important that just showing off. A lot of heavy rock bands could take a few pointers from these guys. (Review from Rift Magazine)