The Big Rock & Roll ShowFreeport 2009
If I had a shilling for every time a band came along claiming to be the next Great British rock band, I'd have, um, 17 shillings. The thing is, this time, they might just be right.
Grooving away in a fine, retro blues and boogie rock style, Liverpudlians The Jokers have banged out an absolutely fantastic slab of rock and roll. Mixing up bands like Aerosmith, AC/DC, The Mooney Suzuki and Mott The Hoople, the nine tracks here are, with a couple of exceptions, the finest new music I've heard this year.
Vocalist Wane Parry, guitarist Paul Hurst, bassist Simon Hurst and drummer aren't short on cheek, as after they'd finished recording, they phoned up the studio of legendary producer and engineer Mike Fraser (AC/DC and a million others) to ask if he'd fancy a go at mixing the album. It may have been cheeky, but he turned around and said yes. Score one for the cheeky boys.
Despite being from Liverpool, they manage to keep the legally obligatory Beatles bits to the bare minimum, which gets them brownie points from me, and they largely stick to bashing out good time songs that will have you a-singin' and a-strummin' for years to come. I'm not a hundred percent sold on opener 'V.I.B.E.', as it's a wee bit fussy, but once 'Star Raver' is up and running, it's all systems go, for half an hour of red hot rock'n'roll, just the way it should be. The only track that totally misses for me is the big ballad, 'Ocean of Kings' which is straight out of the Led Zeppelin songbook. And we know how I feel about Led Zep. However, any band who can unashamedly bung out songs like 'Get Down and Jam' and 'Super Groover' are alright in my book.
The best new band of the year so far? Definitely.
© Stuart A Hamilton
Rating **** (4.0/5.0) Buy @ Amazon