Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Rockers on Cheap Rewards Records

I love when a band is really going for it. When they completely commit to a highly produced, labored over version of their style it can result in everything from Keep it Like a Secret to Before Today. This reissue from The Rockers was originally released in 1977 and were clearly looking to nail this to charts next to Foreigner and Boston in the Top 40 of the late ‘70s.

A-Side’s “I Want To Tell You" comes off like a weird Fleetwood mac punk sound, lots of harmony, but REALLY produced. They get a little jump in this chord change and the bassline is crazily off on its own in the way where he knows what he's doing a little too much, looking for ways to free jazz a near solo between verses. All around crazy skill level. Bass lines flying up the fretboard in it’s insanely exhausting way. Like Dwight Twilley but really aware of where they want to end up. Poppy as hell, a sugar bomb that is even better since no one has ever heard this. "Comeback" has a warbly electric start that introduces a bunch of sitar sounding guitars. The lead vocal is really enthusiastic about getting this person to come back and he knows he's good trying to sound super sexy with shades of Mike Rep. It turns into a sunday '70s summer jam, the next verse bringing in chunky muted distortion. It's over the top in a glam way but aiming for the very top of the pops. Like Donnie and Joe Emerson covered in sincerity. A CCR or Fogerty sound straight from the era, a real lost gem that will leave you wondering how these guys got this sound, a studio mystery lost to the ages.

A-Side (another one, well they weren’t wrong, how do you decide on the better side?) "Don't leave me tonight" has a faster Cars doubled up guitar sound. A hyper tempo with those random changes with such a clean sound in pure bubblegum pop, no part of the garage here, they go straight for the arena. You can't imagine a band with one single starting out would go right to this place. Reminding me of the Resonars or Adam Widener, I hope those guys check this out, it gets almost psych in how blindingly gleaming and sparkly it is. How they crafted this stuff informed by the radio of the '70s and then luck or environment never managed to get more than a few hundred of these out there.
"Understanding" goes right for the typical themes, nothing new there, baby, losing or getting someone back, its all in this instrumentation. More of that Cars slightly manic power pop sound. John Rock on vocals really nails this over the top chorus. You can almost see them choreographing their stage show and getting pyrotechnics involved from the beginning. Like this Zig Zags video.

Out of stock from Cheap Rewards, check the usual distro's.

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