Haywire Riot

Skinny Molly

Ruff Records, 2013


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Mike Estes is a singer/guitarist who has been active on the music scene for several decades but has never found a permanent home.  That may have changed with the formation of his band Skinny Molly. The band was originally gathered for a one-off tour of Europe during 2004, but the group clicked so well that it became a permanent fixture.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Estes’ prior claim to fame was as a member of the classic Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1993-1996. He also toured with the hard rock band Blackfoot for a couple of years. Skinny Molly combines elements of both bands in their style of no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll. The lineup of the band includes Estes joined by lead guitarist Jay Johnson, drummer Kurt Pietro, and bassist Luke Bradshaw.

After an extensive tour of Europe and hundreds of shows, Skinny Molly has now returned home with their latest release, Haywire Riot. It is a solid album, and there are really no low points among the 11 tracks. It may not have the brilliant high points of, say, the best of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but it has a nice flow.

The band also avoids the trap of issuing 40 minutes or so of music that all sounds the same. There are the crunching riffs of “If You Don’t Care” and the acoustic grooves of “None Of Me No More.”  There are the ominous lyrics of “Lie To Me,” the girl hiding the gun in the glove compartment on “Too Bad To Be True,” and the trials of alcohol addiction on “Devil In The Bottle,” which is a re-working of a song Estes recorded during his membership in Skynyrd.

Another constant is the rich voice of Mike Estes that can groan, soar, and purr as is needed. Meanwhile, Johnson proves himself to be a more than a capable guitarist as his riffing ties the parts of many songs together.

Hopefully Skinny Molly will be the permanent home for Mike Estes. Haywire Riot is a mature album of hard rock meets Southern traditions; it’s worth a listen.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Ruff Records, and is used for informational purposes only.