Artist : The Rhythm Slicks
Title : Howlin'
Label : Foot Tapping Records (2020)
It's trad, Dad! Rippin' it up on their debut album, Welsh rockabilly kings Rhythm Slicks dig a retro spacetime continuum in the ground and (rock and) roll in it, eating weeds, spitting nails. This is rockabilly chops the way they should be served: lean, greasy, bony shanks of sound fit to be fried. The greatest thing about this impressively authentic debut is that so rabid is its purism, in its entire duration it is impossible to find anything remotely original about it and that, perversely, is to be celebrated! Kev Burnett, chief growler, sets the tone, with that slightly cinematic sonic sneer beloved of 'billy bellowers, when required lending proceedings a seedy dimension that sets off the thorough thrash of the combo niiice. Cutting the rug Kev stomps the rest of the Sticks - Nick Jones on guitar, bassist Tony Biggs bass, and skinsman Mark Kemlo - hammer with panache. Lyrics are largely incidental to music like this, because it's all been said before and actually who cares what it's "about"? It's rock and roll: it's not about anything! Since the last big 'bill revival - I guess The Stray Cats almost forty years ago, plus some loose change American shizzle - this sort of music has been pretty much below the radar, preaching endlessly to the converted (convertibles?). It takes guts to play music like this these days with real love, and a sort of studious attention to detail at no cost to energy and edge. God only knows how in this cruel, fool world four mojo-working stiffs like this even found each other, much less waxed a debut this hot. Damn, it's the way it should be: attitude.