Bear Rock ‘n’ Roll

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Like the bear on the cover here it seems we’ve woken from hibernation a little on the tetchy side. ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ my lily white ass! What types of lazy old cliché bullshit is that? First track, title track, chugs in like it’s ‘Summertime Blues’ and I keep thinking it’s gonna turn into Jet Boy/Jet Girl but it never quite cuts loose. Second tune ‘Bossy’ was around as a free download last year and is more uptempo, it reminds me somehow of when The Fall play rockabilly, next cliché in line – ‘It’s All Over But The Shouting’. Right off the bat, it’s fair to say, I’m in a pretty bad mood with this record ‘cos it seems on the surface to have retreated from the promise of his last one. Takes a few listens though, leastways with my worn ears and thick skull. JD walks himself a mighty fine line. A lot of young bands who take on rockabilly seem to focus on the primitive energy of it, mix it in with some punk rock and douse the whole thing in tired old imagery. They just can’t stop with all the the hiccuppin’ and hollerin’ y’know? Now, we don’t mind a little of that now and then but this is somehow less in your face while still being pretty rockin’. He ain’t doing no karaoke revival pastiche thing here neither. Or he’s doing it so damn well it don’t matter. Deeply indebted to the 50’s but drawing on a much wider, deeper pool of sounds than straight up retro or punkabilly type acts it slowly reveals itself as really good album, the playing sounds relaxed and natural. Lean back and let her sink in, there are lovely little touches of sound all over the record, the sci-fi organ intro and honking sax on highlight ‘Mother Of Lies’, the delicate, perfect piano and bells on ballad ‘Building Bridges’ and the great handclaps on ‘Head Over Heels’. Which leads us handily to this new video what they done…

mmm hmmm. Rollerskates. We never did get along with rollerskates so good. Getting along good with this record now though. JD and the boys is about to kick off a short UK tour playing venues without any need for skates – here’s the record …

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~ by Mumblin' Earl on June 10, 2015.

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