|Mess Around, Rock Cat Rock
RCR Records, 1998
Rock Cat Rock have been rocking venues around Sydney and Australia with their own brand of rockabilly, blues and roots rock, for over five years, and their non stop tour shows no signs of relenting just yet! With the long awaited release of their debut album "Mess Around" in August 1998, the band has picked up another gear. They have been picked up by international distributor Hep Cat Records in the US, who, along with reviews in international magazines, have generated industry interest and fan mail from all over the world. Sessions have now commenced for production of the bands next release, pencilled for late 2000. Stay tuned!
Let's give this album a spin. The first track "Make It Right" is also the first selfpenned song and I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I heard it. It's a rock song with lotsa blues and heavy guitar, surely not the kind of music a hardcore rockabilly fan would expect. It's a good song mind you, but a long way from authentic rockabilly. The second track though, will get your feet off the floor for sure. It's Ronnie Self's "Bop-a-Lena" and it's got two real hot guitar solos. Yes, this is rockabilly in it's purest form. "One After 9:09" is a Lennon/McCartney song, so it was probably released by The Beatles at one time or another, but I had never heard it before. One thing's certain, The Beatles wouldn't have done it like this, because this is hot rockabilly, the way we all like it, rocking all the way. Johnny Cash' "Folsom Prison Blues", as most orginal Sun recordings, is hard to top, but RCR did a real fine job with this cover. The original "Ain't Nothing $100 Won't Fix" must be the highlight of the album, fast driving rock 'n' roll with a steady rockabilly beat. Great lead guitar, great wide stereo vocals, awesome slap, this song has got it all, shivers down my spine!
Rick Nelson's "Do You Know What I mean" (which was first released in 1986) is not heard very often but it fits right in, real fast rockabilly with a Y2K sound. "I'll See You Again (Someday)" is another orginal, and a pretty damn good rockabilly train-song. "His Latest Flame" is of course Elvis' Fame song, the additonal "L" doesn't change anything to this classic. "Closer Closer" is the fourth and last RCR-penned track and it shows very well that this band can do lots more than play covers. Jimmy Reed's "What You Want" is a gem, and so is this remake. The bluesy rockabilly rhtyhm is bound to keep you moving. Dwight Yoakam's "Guitars & Cadillacs" is another show off of the band's vocal capabilities. The last track is also the title track of the album, Ray Charles' "Mess Around", authentic rock 'n' roll with a razor sharpe guitar solo and great additional saxes by Ian Jones.
In general, this album is mix of roots music with rockabilly, blues and country influences and to my humble opinion, only the first track doesn't really fit in. Well, what the heck, it's a pretty damn good rocking platter that I'm sure you'll enjoy. I'm gonna give "Ain't Nothing $100 Won't Fix" another spin... Available from HepCat Records.
Introducing the band:
Review by The BlackCat, 2000