AJ McKinley

Remember when Roy Wood recorded a solo album while still part of The Move in which he played nearly every instrument on every track? Well, unless you were born before 1973, you don’t.

AJ McKinley, best known for his work in Battlehooch, has just accomplished something similar. His new solo EP And I Was Like contains six songs that, excepting drums, were performed completely by the talented multi-instrumentalist.

It must have been creatively taxing: on his folky jam “24th Corridor” he likens the songwriting process to “lonely alchemy” and describes the necessary isolation required while “trying to make gold.”

I’m happy to report that McKinley has made a nugget with this collection, from the opening slice of psychedelia “Aptos, When It Rains” to the haunting, stripped-down ballad of “Get Lost Here.” Then there’s the space-funk of “Shoot A Bullet Into the Night,” the fat bass groove on “Fever Dream,” and the epic closer “Hide,” featuring an anthemic arrangement of vocals and a soulful, old-school rock star guitar solo. So yeah, the isolation was probably worth it.

You can catch a solo AJ live at the Hemlock next Friday, or see him perform with Battlehooch at Slim’s the night after that.

Vanwave, Guy Fox, AJ McKinley
Hemlock Tavern
January 29, 2016
9pm, $8 (21+)