The first new album in 20 years is finally here. Those fine people at Dead Beat Records made it happen. It features guests John Easdale, Rikk Agnew and Paul Roessler. Eleven songs with a veritable Melting pot of styles is what’s on offer, so turn up the stereo, sit back pour a cold one and lets go.
‘Ain’t It Summer’ sounds like Cheap Trick and the first thing that stands out apart from Paul Roesslers swirling keys are the layers and layers of harmonies on what is effectively the smash hit of the summer that never happened. it really is like a cool summer evening with the saxophone blasting out in the distance but not quite what I was expecting but ‘Fast Fucked & Furious’ is the rocket ride I was expecting. Maybe they fucked up the running order I dunno. Mayers vocals are as sharp and rockin’ as they ever were as he takes this sucker home but not before the guitars get set to melt their fretboards on the solo and from there on in the song is out of control.
Chillin’ or kicking back slightly ‘Bad Vacation’ has got a great hook with the riff and vocals working in tandem on the verse and when the sax joins in I’m sold – I love that setup and this is turning out to be a great tune. ‘We Are The Ones (We’ve Been Waiting For)’ is like a rouged up slice of power pop with the opening riff sounding like Neil Young and Crazy Horse jamming on a Wildhearts track. Seriously it’s got those ingredients in the DNA.
We have some Rikk Agnew going on on ‘The Rejected’ as the boys fire up the Rock and Roll hotrod and take it out for a spin with a cool melody and vocals from Geoff Yeaton as well as his fantastic saxophone. I think when they wrote ‘Rumblin’ Train’ the title kinda wrote itself because the beefed rhythm section is like the sound of a freight train steaming down the track barely in control and its not Casey Jones honking on the rip chord tootin’ as it speeds down the track its a wide-eyed Frank Meyer with the devil’s horns raised high screaming for all he’s worth ably flanked by Duff as he rips out the guitar licks – great stuff.
They turn up the smooth old school classic rock for ‘Let Me Out’ in contrast ‘One More Drink’ is a punk rockin’ power poppin’ drop of nectar from the Gods of Rock and Roll. It’s the more you play the better it gets kinda record. Stick with it kids and the rewards start to filter through one by one. You can stomp your feet to ‘Warzone’ which might well be the weakest track on offer here but it has some sparkling guitar licks and saxophone honkin’ which saves the cliches that otherwise might have gotten overwhelming. The record is closed off with ‘Switchblade Knights’ where they introduce some proper Ian McLagan boogie piano for good measure and sign off a bloody decent record.
In places, it soars like a phoenix from the ashes of what they used to be. It never drops below an excellent record and when it does veer into a little cliched territory its got a saving grace that gives the song a free pass be it the vocal, a guitar break or saxophone honk – The world is a better place with bands like the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs in it releasing records and making a worthwhile noise. Now do yourself a favour and go get it because when they’re gone you’ll regret it but I hope it isn’t another couple of decades until the next one.
Author: Dom Daley