Blacktop Mojo’s Burn the Ships

Written By: Melissa Clark

Blacktop Mojo is a five piece hard rock group out of Palestine, TX. They have a sound that is refreshingly unique amongst the hordes of hard rock out there. The band is made up of Matt James on vocals, Nathan Gillis on drums, Ryan Kiefer on lead guitar/rhythm guitar, Kenneth Irwin on rhythm guitar/lead guitar and Matt “Cat” Curtis with the bass. The band’s producer, Philip Mosley, takes on several instruments on the album, including the amazing acoustics that are found throughout.

Burn the Ships is the second album from Blacktop Mojo. It was released in March of 2017 by Cuhmon Records. Their first album I am was released in the summer of 2014. Having only been a band for 4 ½ years they are impressing critics everywhere. Their blend of hard rock, southern grit and soulful lyrics will have the listener hanging on to each note of every song.


            Burn The Ships tracks:

            1: Where The Wind Blows

            2: End Of Days

            3: Burn The Ships

            4: Prodigal

            5: Shadows On The Wall

            6: Sweat

            7: Pyromaniac

            8: 8000 Days

            9: Dog On A Leash

            10: Make A Difference

            11: Chains

            12: Dream On

            13: Underneath


Listening to this album you will find yourself swaying to the beat, tapping your feet or even drumming along on any surface around. A lot of work went into this album. The whole album is a great piece of work, although a few tracks stand out.


“Where The Wind Blows” starts the album out with a steady hard rock beat and a grungy feel. Matt James wails a vocal introduction that sets a tone for the track. The chorus is catchy and the song has beautiful melodic ending.


Track 4, “Prodigal”, takes a different tone. It’s almost a sad goodbye to those you love while you’re leaving to find yourself. There is real emotion behind this song, you can feel it in the guitar and the vocals. It’s almost painful but with a light to it that leaves you with hope.


Track 7, “Pyromaniac” is definitely a crowd pleaser. With an upbeat, radio friendly groove, it’s sure to be the one on your favorite “Top 40” radio station. The lyrics are playful and it’s just an all around fun song.


Track 8, “8000 Days” is completely different from what the album gives so far. It’s darker, edgier and a bit more angry. That is until you reach the middle of the song and it breaks into this sweet, melodic sound. It takes you on an emotional journey ending back with the same tone as it started.


Track 12, “Dream On” is a cover of the Aerosmith classic hit. Taking on such a “big” song is often a recipe for disaster. Fortunately for Blacktop Mojo, they nailed it. They let the integrity of the song stay in tact and the vocals were spot on with each note.


The last track on the album, “Underneath” starts out with beautiful acoustic guitars. Matt James sings from the heart on this track. Showcasing his vocal ability and control. It’s a sweet ending to a delicious piece of work.


This album will be one that doesn’t leave your playlist. Blacktop Mojo has made a name for themselves with this one and are taking off. Be ready to hear more from this band. Rating this album 5/5 in all areas.


Pick the album, Burn the Ships, up online at, it’s a winner!



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