Fifth on the Floor
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Fifth on the Floor

Lexington, Kentucky, United States | INDIE

Lexington, Kentucky, United States | INDIE
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"Fifth on the Floor -- Dark and Bloody Ground"

Man, I feel like I’ve been in a fog for a few weeks. Stress at work has had me all aflutter, but I think I’ve started to find my new normal. With that said, I can’t think of a better album to blow out the dust here on ninebullets than the Southern rock blast that is Dark And Bloody Ground from Fifth On The Floor. If you listen to ninebullets radio or the ninebullets podcast then you’re already a little familiar with these guys.

Fifth On The Floor is Aaron Graham, Jason Parsons, Matty Rodgers and Justin Wells out of Lexington, Kentucky. They hail from the Bluegrass state and these boys are bringing nothing but Southern rock and roll to the table. If I were gonna compare them to a band, I’d say these kids are the rock and roll cousin of Whitey Morgan and the 78’s. The album’s standout track is the polished and restrained ballad of despair “Distant Memory Lane” but it’s all the tattered, ragged and raw rock and roll songs about sour mash and breakups that make the album Essential Listening. - Nine Bullets Radio


"Fifth on the Floor--Dark and Bloody Ground"

Much like country, the best Southern rock has always been about life itself and, more specifically, the inner struggle between having a damn good time forgetting all about your troubles and actually coming face-to-face with the harsh realities of life. From The Allman Brothers Band to the North Mississippi Allstars, great bands have addressed and embraced both sides of that struggle and on Dark and Bloody Ground, Fifth on the Floor have positioned themselves as the next great Southern rock group and have released an album that, like Second Helping or The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion will be the defining record of the decade for the genre.



Based out of Lexington, Kentucky, Fifth on the Floor are heavily influenced by both old-school classic rock and modern alt. country and on this record they have crafted their own unique sound perfectly combining elements of both. This is a band who are equally adept at Fabulous Thunderbirds-inspired hard rock numbers like "Shine" and bluegrass-influenced tunes such as "Another Day."



Much of the band's success lies with their natural chemistry and while listening to the record, you get the feeling that these guys simply belong together. The gritty vocals of lead singer Justin Wells provide the perfect match for Matt Rodgers' skilled guitar licks and the rhythm section of Robin Polly and Chris Collins is among the best I've heard in quite some time. Add in the occasional banjo, piano, and kazoo (yeah, you heard me right) and it adds up to a damn near perfect exampleof the Southern rock genre.



Listening to this record, you can tell that these guys have paid their dues and have walked in the footsteps of their heroes to get to where they are. As a result, their songs sound nothing like the bubblegum pop currently coming out of Nashville or the hipster bullshit that makes up the so-called "indie" scene these days. These is real music of the people, by the people, and for the people. Speaking from personal experience, my little section of Ohio is the poorest in the state by far and it is located much closer to Kentucky than any of the major cities of the Buckeye State. Lyrically, these guys nail this area. They capture all of the struggle, all of the bitterness, all of the hardship, and, yes, all of the beauty. There was not a single song here that I couldn't relate to in some way, from "Georgia," a rocking number about wanting to escape to "The Fall," a honky-tonk track where you can literally feel the singer's pain coming through the speakers.



While Fifth on the Floor are easily among the best musical ensembles on the scene today, their biggest strength lies in their lyrics. The acoustic ballad "Distant Memory Lane," for example, is a masterpiece of heartbreak, creating vivid and piercing images in the listener's head and keeping them there long after the song and the album have ended. The same can be said for the evocative rocker "Missin' the Mornin'." Then on "Another Day," the band even gets a little political while addressing current coal mining issues in their home state ("To ask them why there is no food makes you a pinko commie fool," Wells declares at one point before targeting mine owners who "pay the lawman off to pass deregulation/And make their money off our health and broken back.") But as I said before, this is a band that deals with good times as well as bad (even if the bad times are always hiding just beneath the surface) and with numbers like "Hell If I Know" and the harmonica-laden "Front Door Blues," they have created some of the best pure good-time rock 'n roll in years.



To put it simply, Fifth on the Floor are for Kentucky what the Allman Brothers were to Georgia. They have combined elements of their state's legendary musical past and created something new, fresh, and exciting. This is XXX music at it's finest and it is the new music of the working class. These guys represent both everything that is right with the underground scene and everything that is wrong with the "indie" scene, where all too often you have pretentious "songwriters" masturbating on stage (figuratively speaking) rather than connecting with their audience. Fifth on the Floor are brining back that connection and I get the feeling that if Ronnie Van Zant is looking down, he's damn proud.



Sure, these guys aren't "hip" enough to be played on NPR, no writer will ever do a story on them in Rolling Stone, and they damn sure won't be seen on CMT or VH1 anytime soon. But if you have this record, why in the hell would you need any of that shit anyway? - No Depression


"Fifth on the Floor -- Dark and Bloody Ground"

Fifth on the Floor - Dark and Bloody Ground
The walls were shaking and the roof was caving in, with sounds like thunder roaring from my speakers, the sounds of Fifth on the Floor's Dark and Bloody Ground. Outlaw country with a rock and roll beat; simply put that is Fifth on the Floor, with obvious hint of the Georgia Satellites, Waylon and Willie, The Band and many others.

The past is littered with broken bands that end up with and empty fifth on the floor, i.e. overblown, over rated LP/CD. Not so with FOTF, you can see the cotton fields passing by in the misery of the sweltering summer heat of the deep south with old men playing checkers and drinking coke on lazy Saturday afternoons, wiping the sweat from their brows with stained white handkerchiefs. With Elvis and Hank spilling out of the radio from the window of a mother washing dishes and the teenager driving and blaring the radio, where Fifth on the Floor lives is in the open spaces between small towns across the land from Memphis to McColl, From Macon to Tupelo, from Ft Worth to Bakersfield.

No odes to past heroes but gentle nods to their enduring and undying influence. This band is a wonderful, fun time that is not here for glory, not here for the money, they are here for the love of music and the power of the brotherhood of playing together and making people happy. Oh yeah and creating great albums.

This is a classic rock album of the future. Ghosts of Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, Duane Allman, Delaney and Bonnie, Gram Parsons, Lefty Frizzell whisper in these grooves. Where the past meets the future and there is no looking back. This is the future of great country albums, great rock and roll and not just a radio voice, but a real voice; in the history books they call them legends.

In reality they are just the artist making the real music that last through generations not six or seven month’s of radio glory. This is real music for real people. If you want to hear the best that America has to offer then pick up your Fifth on the Floor and enjoy, for this is the best of what real music stands for.

Review by Vernon Tart - Pure Southern Rock


"The Hard Place"

If you dig the Southern rock of Stonecutters, but not the pure metal of the band, then you may need to check out Fifth on the Floor. These guys hail from right here in Lexington, and I have to say, if Skynard [sic] ever calls it quits, we already have their replacements waiting in the wings. I’m not knocking FOTF; that’s a high compliment. The track ‘The Color of Whiskey’ is everything that good Southern rock is all about (plus it gives props to good ol’ KY). It’s got a deceptively simple main riff that just straight up ‘rawks’. The singers’ laid back delivery compliments the band perfectly and the songs on their myspace page are very good. The song ‘Last Night In Memphis’ throws you into the bands softer side bringing in the acoustic guitars and a sweet mandolin solo courtesy of Ryan Rogers [sic]. This song brings to mind some classic southern rock/bluesy country bands with its sound, but the band is good enough that I can’t pin down exactly why. Fifth on the Floor knows exactly who they are and they mine every corner of the Southern rock/country world to get the influences and pieces that make up their sound. These guys sound equally at home on a bare bones acoustic song as well as a full on Southern rock jam. They are great musicians and that shows not only through their playing, but in their ability to write good songs. Whether it’s a tasty guitar, organ, or even a mandolin solo, Fifth on the Floor stays true to their roots throughout and they’re great at what they do. Apparently, the music lovers of Kentucky are coming around as well. As one look at their myspace show schedule will attest, the band is playing out almost non-stop these days. Some of the dates you can roll out and see Fifth on the Floor yourself are May 3rd at the ATV Spring Jam in Hyden, KY, May 9th at the International Bar-B-Q in Owensboro, KY, Lynagh’s in Lexington on May 15th and Copperhead’s – also in Lexington – on May 16th. And that’s just the first two weeks of the month! If you can’t make it out any of these shows, you can always catch the band doing what they do best at http://www.myspace.com/fifthonthefloor. - Music Entertainment


"Local Band Add ‘Country Twang’ Spin to Area Bars"

Anyone who lists their influences as Johnny Cash, The Charlie Daniels Band or Hank Williams Jr., is sure to bring with them a beer-drinking crowd. Whether that’s the case with Fifth on the Floor is up for debate. But their music sure brings with it that southern, country twang fit for a bar fight. The best part: You don’t have to spend your entire paycheck to see them.
Performing at local venues around town, Fifth on the Floor has hit up Lynagh’s Pub, Cadillac Ranch and the Green Lantern. And while there are only six songs on their Myspace page, it is clear they are making some noise. With the number of hits their page, and more importantly, their songs, receive for being just a local band, they may be in for a bright future.
Now, back to the alcohol. Fifth on the Floor has one song that represents the true Carhartt-wearing country boy down to a T. “The Color of Whiskey” keeps it simple with a country, rock n’ roll beat that has some catchy phrases accompanied with it. The lyrics, while they include many puns, “we’re just a bunch of drunks having fun” is the phrase that sticks out to me the most. Even after a few listens, “drunk” seems to have that punch that keeps me listening.
There are a few different guys lending vocals on songs, but lead singer Justin Wells’ rusty voice in “Southern Pride” sounds a lot like Kid Rock. Actually, come to think about it, Fifth on the Floor has a lot of resemblance to Kid Rock. However, even with the similar sound, the guys of Fifth on the Floor definitely have a sound all their own.
Now when I mentioned alcohol above, I was being dead serious — these boys really like to talk about drinking. “And we’ll drink until the sun comes up, or the moon goes down, whichever one comes first in this godforsaken town.” That was just a few lines of the second most-played song on their Myspace page —“One Horse Town”— and while the rest of the song is pretty much the same, the winner of best song, in my opinion, goes to “Last Night in Memphis.” This definitely has a Johnny Cash/Charlie Daniels feel to it. It’s catchy, it’s clever and it’s the best song that Fifth on the Floor has put out so far.
While they are a local band playing around town, usually you just have to pay the cover to see them, which is a lot cheaper than bands that come to Rupp Arena. But, what some may forget in this ideal scenario: You are in a bar surrounded by alcohol. So while you may not have to spend a paycheck to see them, you most certainly may spend it on alcohol seeing as you will be listening to songs about drinking all night long.
Fifth on the Floor won’t be back in town until March 13 at Lynagh’s Pub. But until then, check out their Myspace page (www.myspace.com/fifthonthefloor) to see what you think. - Kentucky Kernal


"Fifth on the Floor and Frank Bang's Secret Stash"

"Fifth on the Floor is a new local collective that creates a more serious, profound version of southern rock. In the vein of melodic class rock like the Allman Brothers, British blues interpreters Cream, and the bluegrass hybrid pop of Old Crow Medicine Show, Fifth on the Floor answers the question of 'where did the rock go?' Well, it didn't go far, and it returned in a group of young gentlemen who sound far weathered beyond their years." - The Dame weekly events & news


"Fifth on the Floor"

"Add half a cup of Rock, a tablespoon of Country, and a few shakes of Blues and you have one tasty recipe of good old down home Southern Rock! Much like Grandmother's good old country cooking, nothing exemplifies the south more than Southern Rock. It's the same kind of feeling you get when watching an old movie about the south, and you see the man jamming out on his harmonica on his front porch rocking chair. You can watch the heat roll off the roof, and then you suddenly hear the beautiful sounds of a Southern symphony! Like sitting in the front row of a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, listening to Fifth on the Floor will make you feel like you are in the heart of the Southland.


You can't emulate Southern Rock unless you are from the south, and nobody understands that more than the Kentucky born boys of Fifth on the Floor. From mandolin, to banjo, to acoustic guitars... these guys rock out with the best of them, while showing you a good time, and proving the South worthy of great music and a fun time.


The band consists of Robin Polly on bass, Matt Rodgers on lead guitar, banjo, mandolin, and vocals. Then we have Chris Collins on drums and vocals. Craig Collins plays keyboard. Puddin’ plays guitar and sings. And lastly we have Justin Wells on guitar and vocals as well.


As a beautiful and flawless portrayal of all that is Southern Rock, Fifth on the Floor steps up to the metaphorical plate to hit us a few home runs, and then the crowd goes wild! With their debut CD currently being recorded, these rockin’ rebels have a bright musical future ahead of them, bringing them much to look forward to!


Be sure to check them out and keep yourself updated on the release of their new CD on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/fifthonthefloor" - Music Entertainment Magazine


Discography

The first album, "The Color of Whiskey" features songs ranging from gritty rock ("Southern Pride") to southern jam ("Man of my Vice") to honky-tonk ("Out at the Bar," "My Young Life").

With the 2010 release of their sophomore record “Dark and Bloody Ground,” Fifth on the Floor has built a rock-solid testament to honest music, with nothin’-but-guts songs like “Shine,” “On My Way,” and “The Fall.” The record describes hard times, but with its chin up and its fists raised.

"Albums like Dark and Bloody Ground and songs like ‘Distant Memory Lane’ should be included in the handbook for new Country music listeners." - Shooter Jennings

"…Fifth on the Floor have positioned themselves as the next great Southern rock group and have released an album that, like Second Helping or The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion will be the defining record of the decade for the genre." - NoDepression.com

The band's third release, produced by Shooter Jennings, is slated for a Fall 2012 release.

Fifth on the Floor is featured on Touchtunes, iTunes, Amazon, Last.fm, and Grooveshark.

Photos

Bio

In the summer of 2006, Fifth on the Floor played their first show in a small bar in Central Kentucky. The band was a different beast than it is today: originally six members strong, FOTF reveled in up-tempo songs about women and libation, influenced equally by Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams and The Band. Their first record, 2007’s The Color of Whiskey, did not belie its name in the slightest. Songs like “Out at the Bar” and “My Young Life” focused on Saturday night glory, while songs like “Man of my Vice” and “Last Night in Memphis” pointed to the more serious themes the band moved towards in later songwriting.

Fifth on the Floor quickly started garnering attention for their high-energy live shows. Word of mouth put the band further and further from their home state of Kentucky, while the high volume of shows allowed the band to focus its multitude of influences into a cohesive sound. 2010’s Dark and Bloody Ground showed this, nodding at styles ranging from southern rock to blues to bluegrass while maintaining the sound the band had become known for. The record garnered incredible press. Shooter Jennings offered that “Albums like Dark and Bloody Ground and songs like ‘Distant Memory Lane’ should be included in the handbook for new country music listeners,” and No Depression called the record “an album that, like Second Helping or The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion will be the defining record of the decade for the genre.” The band’s exponential fanbase led to shows opening for the Marshall Tucker Band, Lucero, Dale Watson and Blackberry Smoke, as well as several headlining tours throughout the South and the Midwest.

Elements of numerous roots styles show in the band’s music, but Fifth on the Floor’s live show, featuring Aaron “Laser” Graham, Jason Parsons, Matty Rodgers and Justin Wells, is undoubtedly a rock show. The ferocity of the band’s live performances combines with the strength of their collective song-writing on their upcoming record. The album, produced by Shooter Jennings, is due in late 2012.

If you haven’t seen a Fifth on the Floor show, buy a ticket right now. The band’s rowdy rock and roll is everything you’d expect from four Kentucky gentlemen.