By Adam Waldman
Although I’ve been a listener to SiriusXM’s Hair Nation channel for many years, it’s not the place that I go to discover new music. It’s more about flipping to a station that is virtually guaranteed to be playing songs that I already know and like.
When I heard “The Getaway” by The East Side Gamblers recently on the station, I wondered how I had never heard of the band before, especially with a song this good. It turns out that “The Getaway” is something of a unicorn – new music on Hair Nation from an artist that is not rooted in the ‘80s.
Would I classify The East Side Gamblers as a “hair metal” band? No, I wouldn’t. They are more like the blues rock bands that got lumped into the category by a lazy industry back in the day.
“The Getaway” features a Led Zeppelin-esque riff that carries throughout the song. Rather than being a song that could be confused with Zeppelin (like Greta Van Fleet), “The Getaway” quickly transitions to an in-your-face ballsiness that defined the early days of Skid Row. As the song progresses to the beautifully melodic, anthemic chorus, shades of Badlands (one of the most underrated bands of the late-‘80s/early-‘90s) shines through.
A four-piece unit out of Nashville, The East Side Gamblers describe themselves as “rock and roll for people who love rock and roll.” It may sound simple and direct, but it’s an appropriate description of the band’s sound.
Most rock bands nowadays strive to get played on SiriusXM’s Octane. Would Octane be better if bands like The East Side Gamblers were in the rotation? Without question! However, it speaks volumes about the band’s talent that they have managed to get airplay on a station that is unapologetic about its love of the glory days of hard rock and metal.
Hopefully, The East Side Gamblers will garner the attention of stations playing current hard rock music. But even if they never get played on Active Rock stations, there is still a clear path for this band to break through by following down the trail blazed by The Dead Daisies. The band has already shared the stage with the likes of Tom Keifer and Lzzy Hale, in addition to landing a slot on a Kiss Kruise.
If you’re a fan of pure, bluesy, timeless rock and roll, make sure to check out The East Side Gamblers!