Casualties Of Cool, Straight 8s
Rock'N'Roll Purgatory RRP005

Hailing from central North Carolina, The Straight 8s mix together a serious dose of rockabilly, swing, surf, and old country to cook up their own brand of greasy haired, cuffed jean, rebellion. Abiding by the "less is more" rule, this guitar, upright bass, and drums trio like to keep it raw, and real. Don't mix up this all American band with Vic O'Neil's Australian cover band with the same. The majority of this debut album was recorded using only 4 tracks on a vintage, tube amplified, Ampex 351-4 recorder. You'll hear no overdubs, just a few fixes, real tape echo and mostly just the trio in "hi-fidelity sound".

The first few notes of the album already gave me the goosebumps, the instrumental "Train Wreck" thundered through my headset with no mercy and all rock 'n' roll. Then it went straight on into "Rocket Ship Rock", still with the lead guitar blessing my ears, awesome upright bass lines with a slapping instro, varied drum riffs and raw rockabilly vocals.

I get dozens of CD's sent to me for review every month, I can barely keep up with the writing. And although most of them are pretty good or better, only once in a while there's an album like this one, that sends shivers up and down my spine from beginning to end. Hence the five stars at the top of this page. I was even quite happy to notice that the inevitable ballad, that seems to occur on almost every album, was left out. This record is all rock! And all songs, with the exception of a brilliant cover of Elvis Presley's "Hard Knocks" from the movie "Roustabout", are self-penned originals.

A bit of original surf with a rockabilly beat is varied in with the exquisite instrumental "Ann Bowman", which in turn is followed by a hot rockabilly track "Mean Go Getter", which still has a some reverb on the lead. I'm not gonna review each and every song on this album, because it would all come down to the same thing; great, greater, awesome, and the most. I can play this album all day long, and I'm already sure that I won't be bored for one minute.

Check out this line from the closer "Rockabilly Zombie"... "All I want is your beating heart dripping from my hand". Gruesome, I love it !! Thanks guys!

Train Wreck / Rocket Ship Rock / Candy Doll / All I Wanted (Was Your Kiss) / Hot Rod Queen / Ann Bowman / Gypsy / Mean Go Getter / Fool / Knock Me Down / Draggin' Down Main Street / Hard Knocks / Texas Time / Rockabilly Zombie

The Straight 8s are:
Robert Striegler - Vocals, Guitar
Pat McGraw - Upright Bass
Bernie Fox - Drums

Contact information: 

Rock'N'Roll Purgatory
342 S. Walnut St.
Wooster, OH 44691
United States 

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003