|Arms Full of Rockin', Cast Iron Arms
C.I.A. Records, CIA-002
Cast Iron Arms is a trio from Helsinki, Finland. The group was formed in 1997, but before that all the band members have had over a decade of experiece with other rock 'n' roll bands. The band had their first gig at the British bike club "MCC Oilers", at this event they called themselves "Oldies But Baldies". Obviously this name describes the lack of hair of the members! At the next gig they came up with a new name, Cast Iron Arms. Two years went by, performing at wild parties and all sorts of dumps, and they decided to do a record. Cast Iron Arms first recording was released on C.I.A. Records in 2000, a CD titled "Rock 'n' Roll With.." (CIA-001). Later on that year, there was a vinyl EP release titled "Tonite.. ." (CFR-001).
Two years later, Crown Fire Records released a compilation-EP "Bollocks To Europe! Vol.2" (CFR-004). Cast Iron Arms had one track on it, a great version of Crazy Rock, orginally recorded by Al Roberts Junior. In the near future Raucous Records will release three tracks by Cast Iron Arms on a compilation-CD. Nowadays, Cast Iron Arms are one of the top bands in Finland and are also a well known throughout Europe. So far, they have performed in Germany, Sweden and Norway.
In June of this year (2003) their second full length CD titled "Arms Full Of Rockin'" came out, also on C.I.A. Records. And that's when the gang decided that they also wanted a spot in the Hall of Fame of the largest rockabilly website in Europe, so they sent me a copy of their new release for review. Well, let's hear what these guys can do...
The album hits off real fast with Sonny West's ever beautiful "Darlene", with lotsa fast electric bass licks, guitar intros, rolling drums and a scorched voice. Superb opener, followed by "Everything You Do", with excellent harmonie vocals and an ongoing raving rhythm. Changing rhythms is what Cast Iron Arms seems to like, because on track three they swing over to what you might call a Bo Diddley rhythm & blues rhythm, well "Mumblin' Mosie" was actually a Johnny Otis song, handjive style.
Carrying on with a little more modern sound on "Rough Tough Rock (With Roll)", a real gone Teddy Boy rhythm song and then right on to another harmonie rock 'n' roll song, Ricky Nelson's "Poor Loser". On track 6 we meet Timo Tarkela, guest saxophone player, doing a mighty fine job on Mickey Hawks' timeless rocker "Bip Bop Boom", also with great guitar breaks. A superb rendition! My guess is that "Can't Cruise Around" is a Cast Iron Arm original, and a pretty neat one too. "What's The Matter" is next and Eddie Fontaine's "Nothin' Shakin'" rocks your socks off, although the vocals aren't quite what you would expect, a bit too much of that Finnish accent. Who cares, it rocks! Last track is "Three Nights To Rock 'n' Roll" and what a closer it is, with fast bass rhythms, rolling drums and hot guitars, just like the album started.
What else can I say, fabulous album, rock 'n' roll the way we like it. And because of the electric bass it has a bit of a Teddy Boy sound to it, although I wouldn't really call Cast Iron Arm a Teddy Boy band. A splendid mix of good old rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and some modern European influences. These baldies sure can rock! Black Leather Rock 'n' Roll...
Cast Iron Arms are:
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003