|Roadhouse Rock, Simon Crashly & The Roadmasters
Enviken, EnRec CD 109
After releasing a couple of 45s, an LP and two CDs on Tail Records, Simon Crashly & The Roadmasters switched labels to Enviken for their new CD "Roadhouse Rock". As the band first started out in 1997, that sums up to about one album a year. I didn't miss any of them. I know, for some of you, that's enough info to head for the recordstore, but you're not getting rid of me that easily. I'm gonna put in my two cents worth anyway.
Sixteen tracks that total up a full 40 minutes of raw rocking music, half of 'em selfpenned, mostly by Sten Åsberg, the steel driving man of the band. The covers are pretty well picked out and due to the very distinctive sound of the Roadmasters, you will find that they sound nothing like the originals. To start with Don Gibson's uptempo country tune "Blue Blue Day", which is transformed to a hardknocking, raw rocking rockabilly track, the kind that sends shivers down your spine. I'm also willing to bet that you've never heard the famous Leiber/Stoller tune "Kansas City" played in this style, with the piano and the lead guitar racing with the devil to get to the end. Sten's voice is having a hard time keeping up, very energetic.
On the original Tex-Mex song "Tu Tu", Anders Larsson is will show you that indeed you can mix an accordion with a stomping rockabilly sound. The uptempo ballad "My Life", with some of Peter's tom-tom rolls and a marvellous banjo interlude, is surely a feast for your ears, not in the last place thru Sten's ever changing voice. Get ready to bop once more to a hard driving lovesong titled "Sussane". Now here's the song you've all been waiting for, if you remember Bob Fish (Johnny & The Roccos) doing it, you just gotta hear this. "Tarzan Boogie" rocks thru your living room with a heavy Swedish accent and snearing lead guitar instros.
"You Make My Blood Running Wild" is all about a girl of course, but the same thing goes for the song itself, with Anders hitting his 88 keys with conviction. If you thought Fats Domino's "I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday" was a soft rhythm & blues tune, try this rockabilly version on for size. "Honky Tonk Woman" is another Tex-Mex rockabilly tune that'll rock your socks off, while "Money Is A Thing Of The Past" is straight forward rock 'n' roll. Christer just keeps on plucking them bass strings hard and loud on "Here I Am" and the fast draggin' bluesy tune "Evil Woman" is once more a great display of Sten's raw scratchy voice.
Wynn Stewart's "Come On" is another great example of how to play coversongs in a totally different way, and "Too Old To Rock, Too Young To Die" must be the story of my life, listen to that lead guitar screaming. "When You Ain't Around" is a piano rocker with a heavy beat and a thumping bass to warm you up for the chucker-out "Roadhouse Rock". Time to catch your breath!
Here's one more Simon Crashly album, unlike anything you ever heard before, kind of extreem on many fronts, you'll love it or you'll hate it. Well, I guess you figured out by know how I feel about it. Go dig it!
Introducing the band:
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Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2001