Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rockanites - Great Shakes - #197

Rockanites - Great Shakes

The last I knew about Tuomas' whereabouts was my review in post #193 (Jolly Roger). He has found a new stomping ground with the Rockanites. This is a brandnew combo and, of course, hails from Finland. World capital country of Rock'n'Roll and Rock-a-Billy. No, make this a large slice of the music scene in general. The important part!

Let me think, I might have to rewrite this again. Where's Noise, Improvisation, Industrial and the like from Finland? I believe, there might be a hole somewhere. But it's Rock'n'Roll/Rock-a-Billy we're concerned with here. The band is made up of three individuals:

Tuomas - Vocals and Guitars
Janne - Drums
Sami - Bull Fiddle Bass (hey guys, you just lost me there, I will have to look this up)

What you get here is an offer of nine songs, clocking in at just under the half hour mark. And, once again, I'm very much impressed by a band from Finland, not a single cover version here. Not that this is a bad thing in itself, but lots of Neo Rock'n'Roll/Rock-a-Billy bands play it safe and release albums without a single original idea. Not these guys. Tuomas must have worked some overtime, as eight of the nine tracks are his, with Janne (I assume it's Janne) being listed for one song.

My brain is running in circles, I have half an idea whose parents "My Grain-O-Salt Baby" are. This is just one of these thoughts that you can't pinpoint and it drives you nuts. An excellent piece with a nice retro feeling from a bygone era. It's really old-fashioned, I can't help it. Excellent track, no doubt about it. "Mopin' 'bout Your Man" echoes a certain song as well, but I assume this owes more to the style than an actual blueprint. What I want to say is, you're feeling instantly at home with all of those nine selections.

Now that I have listened to the CD for about the 30th/40th time (I kid you not!), some words about Tuomas' singing. Somehow, I think he hits the nail right on the head. His voice is very much suited to the tracks (and not just because he wrote most of them). His voice is such, that you can sit through repeat listens without getting tired. Do I hear some Mick Green influences on guitar? Yes, I do. "Feelin' Horny Tonite" is such a case. Learned from the best, did you?

Janne seems to be a rock solid drummer, but his playing is always in the service of the songs. Not a show-off like so many, just bolting the band to the floor and giving directions. You can actually hear how the band is being ... it's like a railroad train huffing and puffing and Sami, the man on the bass, is oiling the wheels and shifting coal on the steep ascent. Those three guys are really clicking.

The CD was recorded in April 2016 in Helsinki. I'm not sure you can buy this album in any shop outside of Finland, but you can contact the band on their Facebook website, I'm sure you can work something out, so you're soon the proud owner of "Great Shakes".

Uh, and don't forget the Pin-up Girl on the cover and at the back of the booklet. Just sayin'



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