Rock Hot Mama, The Sunstroke
Hot Weather Records 4

The Sunstroke was founded in Le Mans (France) in 1999 by Ludo Bossis, Yann Levillain, Fred Michelet and Luc Galtier, They play down to earth vintage rock 'n' roll, deeply rooted in the golden era of the 50's. After a year or so of playing at small clubs and ballrooms and a debut album titled "Take Your Guitar" (Lyrnr Records 2002), the group had a change in the line-up. Fred Berger (bass guitar) took the place of founding member Fred Michelet. They continued touring, mainly in France and Switzerland, and released a second album titled "Time To Rock" (Lyrnr Records 2004). Now the band has released their third album "Rock Hot Mama". The two previous albums consisted of mainly rockabilly and rock 'n' roll standards, but this time they included a lot of their own material, Ludo Bossis wrote 8 of the 12 tracks on this new platter.

First I fell in love with the devilish vampire-like feline chick on the front cover of the CD, reminding me of a sexy Vampirella comic book, and next I was boppin' across my office floor, shivers running up and down my spine, when I played the title track "Hot Rock Mama". I hopped back to my stereo set, turned the volume to near distortion, and played it again. Darn, that was good!

The rocking goes on with "Uh Uh Baby", followed by a real wild rendition of Freddy Cannon's "Buzz Buzz A Diddle It", with surf-like guitar riffs. Hey, I'm on a roll here! Gotta slow down the pace a bit with a very powerfull "With Your Love, With Your Kiss" (Johnny Powers), including a great sax solo by guest musician CÚdric Themon.

Ludo's scorching vocals sound just terrific, with almost no French accent in his English pronunciation. Next track is titled "Boom Boom", another Sunstroke original. A bit of a stange song with jazzy influences which, after a few odd rhythm changes, swings into a fast jiver. Some skiffle (Flying Saucers style) in "Oh Caroline", with standard Teddy Boy guitar licks. This Ludo guy can do many great things with his voice, just listen to the mystical "If I Could", again with some great Sax interludes.

After the fast Hasil Adkins song "Chicken Walk" comes another Bossis track titled "I Didn't Say That", neo rockabilly with harmonica, imagine that! Then a revved up cover of Slim Rhodes' "Do What I Do" and two more Sunstroke originals "Sue And Lou" and "Lovin' Baby". Man, this band has got loads and loads of energy, rocking you the hard way with their own style of rock 'n' roll music.

The Sunstroke are:
Ludo "Screamin' Bob" Bossis - Vocals
Yann "Junior" Levillain - Guitars
Fred "Fifi" Berger - Bass
Luc "Don Biero" Galtier - Drums

Guest musician:
CÚdric Themon - Saxophone

Contact information:
Ludovic Bossis
30 Rue Des Bouleaux
72100 Le Mans

Album available from:
Rocket Records
1 Ter Rue Lacharriere
75011 Paris

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2004