|Hot Rod Boogie, The Rockets
On Stage Records OSR 012
It all began in Greece in 1992 when the "Jive Rockets" were formed and they started their adventures on the rock 'n' roll scene with big influences from the 50's era. As years went by, every "rocket" went his own way, sometimes crossing paths again with bands like "The Red Hot", "The Jitterbugs", "The Shapes" and "The Speedballs". Searching for the real thing once more they decided to arm their rockets and hit the rock 'n' roll highway again with the straight sound of original rockabilly, fitted in today's hard reality.
The Rockets previously released a 4 track 10" EP (On Stage OSR 10), one track from this EP "Rockin' Dream" was also included on the OSR compilation "White Boppin' Tower". And now the band has released their first full length CD with 12 hot rocking tracks, 8 of which are selfpenned originals. The remaining 4 are cover songs from Elvis, Sonny Fisher, Gene Vincent and Charlie Feathers. Lyrics of all original songs are included in the four-folded CD cover sheet.
The album hits off with the title song "Hot Rod Boogie", a new original with a classic sound. Full power doghouse bass and razor sharpe lead guitar riffs. Good lead vocals with a little bit of an accent, supplemented by a backing chorus. "Sweet Magnolia's Curtain" is the only intrumental track on the album, a real gone surf song in the early 60s tradition, followed by "I Wanna Rock" (all night through with you), and you can believe yours truly, these boys really do wanna rock, and they do it pretty hot as well. As you know, I'm a sucker for a cheap guitar, and this guy Nick is a damn fine Telecaster picker.
The Rockets' rendition of "Just Because" sounds good, the only problem is that I think this song has been covered way too often. My collection database reports 40 different versions of the song. I like the selfpenned "Lucy" a lot better, with cewl bass and drum solo riffs, it will surely rock your socks off. Sonny Fisher's "Rocking daddy" has always been one of my favorites, and this version got the hairs in neck straightened once again. Great lead guitar!
"You Can't Rock Me No More" and "Honky Tonk Daddy" are two more originals with a fantastic beat. Ace Moreno's voice is not quite cut out to do a cover of Gene Vincent's "Blue Jean Bop", but due to the great musical skills of all bandmembers, it's still a respectable cover. Ace does a lot better stuttering his way through Charlie Feather's classic "Tongue Tied Jill". Very well done.
The band has included all the right ingredients on this album, Hot Rods, Hot Chicks and Hot Rockabilly Blues. Fine musicians and loads of energy make this a fantastic album with good covers and fabulous new songs. Go for it!
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2006