|Buck Jones & His Rhythm Riders
I'm Gonna Rock Your Brains Out (Hogfarm, HOG 002)
Before starting off with this review, let me quote a few lines from a letter I got from Buck in which he explains his new music: "So here's our new album, I hope you like it. It's not all rockabilly, but this is what came out naturally. We have kinda marked the ground on the musical prairie on which we plan to ride in the future. I think our influences can be clearly heard on these tracks; Elvis' first album, Johnny Burnette, Gene Summers, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, Sleepy LaBeef, Crazy Cavan, but also Merle Travis, Delmore Brothers, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams and some fellars from the bayou plus some rock 'n' roll."
I think these lines give you a good indication of what to expect. 'New grounds on the musical prairie'. I like that. Indeed, this album is not straight rockabilly, it's a new mixture that has to be named yet I guess, but since it was released on Hogfarm International I think "Hogfarm Rockabilly" pretty well covers it. The album hits off with the title track "I'm Gonna Rock Your Brains Out", which was recently released on CD/EP (along with "Cheerleader"). Quite right, be sure to wear your crash helmet if you're gonna try to bop to this one. Fast, driving, hot rockabilly with a touch of hillbilly, blues, rock, cajun and lots more. It is surely the right mixture, this one will rock your brains out for sure!
"Hellbilly Rooster From Tennesee", more fast paced rockabilly, with a bite (and a mean slapping bass). I always wondered where these 'hellbilly roosters' came from, well... now I know (and it's not Finland). "Rbilly Boogie", where the "R" stands for "Rock" obviously, is a hillbilly song, but it's so damn fast that it's also rocking hard. Right, pure Hogfarm Rockabilly. "Trashbilly" is a pretty good rocking song, again with great slap, although the lead on this track is a bit too much "rock" for me. Lyrics and vocals are great. "Hit And Run" is running indeed, very fast rockabilly. I bet you can't keep up trying to bop to this one. "Burning Heart" is what Buck was talking about when he mentioned Elvis' influences and "Cajun Snakebite" comes to you straight from the bayou. Did you know that, besides lead guitar and vocals, Buck also plays the accordion and the harmonica?
"Loverboy" has that distinctive crazy rhythm sound, made popular by Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers. "Camel" is surely exploring new grounds, because although it has a rockabilly rhythm, it is more of a 70s rock song. "My Kinda Gal" is another fast rockabilly track. The keyword on this album seems to be "fast" indeed. So, let's slow it down a bit with "Raisin' Arizona", a hillbilly blue grass song with some Bill Monroe influences, but after that you can start up your tractor for "Tractorpullin' Mama". This is pure rock, not rockabilly, not even close... No, I like "Cutest Gal This Side Of Lubbock", a plain country song, a lot better. Or "Hillbilly Hooligans", which is fast paced Hogfarm Rockabilly again, in big contrast with the the last song on the album, "Bluebell", a fully accoustic blue grass song.
So, what's the general impression of this this platter? Al 16 tracks are selfpenned originals. That's great. Well done! Not all tracks are pure rockabilly, if you prefer authentic rockabilly style, you're better off getting Buck's EP, with "Rock Your Brains Out" and "Cheerleader" PLUS an additional three studio live recordings (not on this album). And if you are a bit like me and you like exploring 'new grounds on the musical prairie' you should give this album a spin.
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2000