Pat Todd And The Rank Outsiders don’t make bad records. Might as well get that out there from the start. So, ‘Past Came Calling’ is no exception then and I spose before I’d dropped the needle I knew this but that’s not going to make much sense to anyone as far as a review goes – I knew it was going to be choc-o-bloc with top tunes that followed the time honoured tradition of Rock and Rollers. Dan Baird, Jason and the Scorchers, Dr. Feelgood and Rockpile to namedrop a few fellow participants in the fine art of Rock and Roll. Pat and his Rank outsiders do like to kick up a shitstorm that’s a given but there is more to them than just Rockin’ out.
From the opening drum roll of ‘If Only I Could Fly Backwards In Time’ right through its rollicking verses and chorus to the cool as guitar lick that takes us back to the verse this is a quality opener that shows real intent. Recorded loud to be played loud as all good time Rock and Roll should be at its unkempt best. ‘The Ballad Of Crystal Valladares’ ain’t no Ballad though folks its a bad assed Rocker, built around a rolling guitar lick and some country-tinged melody played, it’s like the soundtrack to a getaway drive by. There’s no flash sound tricks or auto-tune going on here it’s just the sound of a kick-ass band cutting it up in a sweaty studio knowing that with every song they capture a little bit more magic than the last take.
The recording sounds like Mellencamp when he turned up the Les Paul Jr on ‘Whenever We Wanted’. With songs like ‘Run’ which sounds like they’ve been here before such is the comfortable nature of Todd’s songwriting, it’s classic in its arrangement and one of the best songs on the record.
Todd’s cowpunk roots come to the fore on ‘Down In Old Boerne’ with its acoustic guitar and honkin’ mouth organ. ‘The Ring The Bottle And The Gun’ is pure cowpunk as we position the hay bails as we pour the moonshine ready for the yea – haws!
With fourteen songs on offer and never a let up in the quality on offer its a no brainer if you’re considering picking up a copy of this record its impossible to be disappointed you go from the gob iron of ‘Had A Bad Night’ to the smooth laid back rhythm and blues of ‘any Other Way’ straight into the acoustic jam of ‘Idle Time’ whatever style Todd chooses to write in it’s of the highest order Now if The Supersuckers wrote an album this strong – people would be salivating over it.
‘Just Between You and Me’ is the sign off in the style of Ronnie Wood doing Dylan and it just dawned on me I’ve not mentioned How good Todd’s vocals are throughout -Oh I just have. Pick it up – do yourself a favour and whack up the volume you can thank me later. ‘The Past Came Calling’ is very much in the moment but I wouldn’t sit on it just go pick it up.
Buy ‘The Past Came Calling’ Here