Get ready to HOWL!
In such uncertain times, I’m sure we could all do with some up-tempo, fun music for bopping around to in our locked-down living rooms. And these three lads from North Ayrshire are gonna bring it ya!
Having spent the best part of the last two years serving their ‘apprenticeship,’ busking the streets of Glasgow and surrounding area, THE BEST BAD INFLUENCE have today released their debut album.
In true rockabilly tradition, their album extends to twelve songs with an average length of less than three minutes. All but one, are full on, high energy rock-a-boogie, so maybe it’s a shrewd move to position ‘Dream Girl,‘at track seven. Even fit young hep cats need a wee smoochy, restful wander around the dance floor before the crazy rhythms take over again.
The album opens with the original, stompin’ ‘Big Al’s All Night Diner,‘ the title alone transporting the listener to an era of quiffs, burgers and milkshakes. Happy days.
‘Isa Blue,’ has the twang and bounce of early Stray Cats, while ‘What D’ya Mean?‘ rolls along to a rumbling bass line, with a great riff. I can hear a little bit of good ol’ fashioned Glam rock stomp thrown in here too. Any one else hear a touch of Slade influence? It works perfectly!
Simply from the titles, ‘Voodoo Women’ and penultimate track, ‘Wolfman’ instantly have me thinking of The Cramps, even before a note is played. And not to disappoint, both songs do convey that kind of goth / horror pop feel.
‘Miss. Shaker” is an old crowd favourite when the lads play live, an is followed by ‘Feet Rock,’ which does, I have to say reflect a more frantic ‘Rock This Town,’ in the beat and harmonies. But hey – that’s fine with me. You can’t keep a good rockin’ rollin’ tune down.
The chant laden ‘Rat Rod Mama,’ builds up a head of steam again as the album heads towards its conclusion after the relative tranquility of ‘Dream Girl.’ If you’re feet ain’t tapping and your head’s not nodding to this, you just ain’t got no soul.
‘Interstellar Boogie‘ increases the heat even more, with a fevered Hank C Burnette style riff, while ‘Trying Hard,‘ can’t avoid Eddie Cochran comparisons at various points.
The album races close with a personal favourite of mine, ‘Polka Dot Cadillac’ – a true rockabilly gem that would have found its place at the top of the game, back in the day.
All in all, this is a tremendous debut album. It will definitely go down well within rockabilly / traditional rock ‘n’ roll circles, but also, I think, with anyone just wanting to listen to some good time, feel good music.
(‘Rock -It!’ is available now via, Apple Music’ iTunes; Spotify; Google Play and others.)