Hear The Track HereCall me cranky old bastard (Ed: o we do, we do...) but I always get the shudders when I see a track called Rock and Roll. First of all, most 'modern' rock and roll wouldn't know a ducks ass or a quiff if it fell into them and - most damning of all - it's probably THE most overused song title of all time. Now, before this turns into a review about song titles, let me see if I can muddy the waters even further. 'An attempt at 'rap and roll' is how Chris Fewell describes this track and if that doesn't whet your appetite to hear it, then you have no soul. Chris lists his influences as Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks and those are some fekkin HUGE boots to fill, no matter how good you are. Having lived with Rock and Roll for a while now, I think he should add Queen to that list too because - despite the obvious differences in style - that is what I come with from living with this bad, bad boy.
That's bad good btw, not bad bad. (Ed: wtf now?)
Apparently a track written while serving one's state and/or federal government obligations (as in 'Oi, you're nicked sunshine!') Rock and Roll is a hymn to the genres uplifting qualities, and a damned fine hymn at that. Admittedly I had to get used to both the delivery and the style Chris brings to the proceedings this being the first time I had encountered him, but after a few plays Rock and Roll established itself in the time honoured fashion. Obviously, it has that American rock sound which doesn't often go down overly well outside the States but Chris Fewell has more than enough other points of interest to get around that particularly English prejudice, not the least of it being that he is an excellent rock vocalist who is not afraid to stretch his vocals as many ways as he can.
Underneath all that, this particular Rock and Roll is a great rock song performed with some skill and dexterity, only marred very slightly by the obvious audio limitations Chris works with. Let me tell you, getting a track of this complexity down in any recognisable form would be hard enough, making it sound as good (in production terms) as a Queen track is next to impossible but I found the more I listened to the track, the more my own mind filled in the audio gaps by instinct. So, in terms of overall impact, Rock and Roll has a lot going for it - besides being a great rock song and I'm sure it will find many takers. I liked the more technical side of the track though and that - I think - led me to wish it sounded just that little better and this may well have been an out and out Must Have. As it is, this is well above the usual standard in lots of ways which means I'll be exploring more of this musicians work.
Highly Recommended rock song. Well worth checking out.