Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Roller Derby Saved My Soul by Uncle Leon & the Alibis

Roller Derby Saved My Soul cover art

Artist: Uncle Leon & the Alibis
Title: Roller Derby Saved My Soul
Catalogue Number: No catalogue number
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007

Uncle Leon & the Alibis are turning into the musical equivalents of a cult movie. The sort of movie that everyone claims to have seen but nobody seems to know when they saw it. They are heroes of the Roller Derby circuit due to their high octane country meets punk sound, their first album is a permanent fixture on the CD player at Bluesbunny Towers and to say that we were looking forward to this, their second album, is an understatement.

Preparing ourselves for the review in a responsible, scientific manner, we opened another beer and pressed that play button. The title track grinds its way out of the speakers and tears off down that old style rock 'n' roll highway. That dark, twisted sense of humour (part Lee Hazelwood, part Johnny Cash) that Uncle Leon is renowned for shows itself in the deeply moral tale of unwilling criminals that goes by the name of "In a Dairy Queen Parking Lot". Victims of circumstance feature strongly in Uncle Leon's songs. You can call that a country trait but the humour shines through. "Wakin' and Bakin'" is a future classic as the protagonist is " …wakin'  and bakin' with a buck naked angel" - it is nothing sort of poetry. Lest we forget, there are also some excellent musical contributions for Sara Landeau's laconic drumming, Charlie Aceto's jagged guitar and Neil Magnusson's rock solid bass.

Oh, we are happy with this one and already we want another one (an album and/or a beer). The soul of the storyteller inhabits Uncle Leon. It is good natured, you can dance (badly) to it and there is even a tearjerker in "The Trash and the Rust". Many a grown and very possibly drunk man will be crying into his beer when he hears this one. Rounding things off is a deranged live version of one of the best tracks from his first album, "I Hate My Job". With the loss of Lee Hazelwood, the world needs a new pied piper to lead us out of town and along the rutted, twisting path to a beer soaked paradise. Maybe Uncle Leon is that man. Available from CD Baby.
Review Date: October 30 2007