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Grunty old blues rock from a brand new band: your first thoughts on the sound will likely be that the Alabama Shakes have the same sort of zest as The White Stripes. The band’s name isn’t just a place name thrown in for the sake of it, they actually hail from Athens, Alabama, a part of the world that is synonymous with gritty and soulful music. The band actually met and begun their musical voyage together at high school, and it’s easy to tell that they’ve grown and developed together. That said, guitarist and vocalist Brittany Howard is definitely the focal point. The odd girl out with her male band buddies Howard has a unique and powerful voice – kind of like Tracey Chapman or Renee Geyer, where you can’t be entirely sure that it’s a woman at all and need to check the album jacket for the name … can’t do that if you download it on iTunes. This really could be the first album of a dozen over many decades. Don’t wait for the third or fourth album to get on the bandwagon.