It has been about 3 years to the date since I reviewed The Rumours debut full length album ’Hotbang’ which ended up one of my favorite albums of 2017. Catching them on tour in support of that album, one song didn’t grab me which I noted in my review, and Carli Foxx (vocals/ guitar) made sure to dedicate that song to me at the show here in Houston which I really liked. The song was better live than on record. That same attitude is present in these 9 new songs. In a world that is currently on edge and dealing with some serious issues that affect everyone on the planet, The Rumours give us a reprieve and allow us to forget about everything else for these approximately 31 minutes.
A scream of ‘owwwww’ gets the party started and leads into the excellent first track ‘Hey You.’ Air guitarists take note that you are immediately called to action here as the riff might as well be made of maple syrup with how it sticks in your brain. Musically, there are similarities to the early era of the Donnas where the hair metal influence is there, but the overall component harkens back to the likes of the spirit of ’77 and the spirit of rock n roll. The chant of ‘hey’ at the end is perfect. ‘Never Comin Back’ continues the sonic assault with another killer riff that Foxx snarls over the top of with the perfect vocal. For those that miss the early sound of Diemonds, your dreams have been answered here. If there is a danger here, it is that tone deaf singers like me start screaming along to the chorus.
A conversation starts ‘Electric Blues’ which I am quite sure I heard for the first time live two or three years ago. This version surpasses what I remember, and I remember loving the unreleased songs at that show. Stu the Dew lays down another awesome riff, and the rhythm section that Daniel Klutier (drums) and Ela Rose (bass) form is laser tight. This one has one of those subtle hooks in the chorus that just saws its way into your brain with repeated listens. ‘Caroline Brown’ eases off the throttle a little bit to settle into a nice groove and adds a different spice to the album. They combine a classic glam style beat with some old school punk attitude on ‘Phone Calls.’ The snotty spoken word part by Foxx is a nice touch here too.
Turning up the tempo with ‘Take Me Shake Me’ serves the album well after the previous two songs slightly slower tempos. The punk attitude is present but again the band channels the essential spirit of rock n roll and makes this so much fun to enjoy. One of my favorites follows in ‘Put Your Love on My Face.’ This is another song that I remember from seeing them live where I already sensed there would be no sophomore slump. Klutier’s drums are the most prominent before another cool guitar riff will have you rocking the air guitar again. The verses leave plenty of room for Foxx’ vocals and there are some tasteful backing vocals added to the chorus. There is a touch of AC/DC in this one for me, perhaps due to the lyrics.
‘You Suck, Baby’ makes an immediate impact with an explicit hook that begs to be sung as soon as you hear it. The use of the chanting ‘yeah’ throughout the chorus just makes it even more contagious. Lyrically, this is a total escape from the reality that is happening everywhere, and it feels so refreshing. Wrapping up the album, ‘L.A. Trends’ begins with some bass from Rose that takes center stage in this one. The sleazy beat ends the album on a nice high and showcases what a great mix the band has achieved here across the whole record as each instrument gets plenty of space in the mix. Each member has their own spots to stand out, but it never takes away from the songs.
A few years ago, the band made a great impression on 8 of the 9 songs with that last one never reaching the level of the other songs for me. I connected with all 9 of these songs right away and have had this album on repeat quite a bit over the past few days. I highly recommend this for everyone who wants some classic songs fueled by glam, punk, hard rock, and some of the best heart and soul there is.
‘Suck It’ is available now.
Author: Gerald Stansbury