Big John Bates. The name says it all. He ain't no sweater wearing folk singer. He plays firebrand licks on his trusty Gretsch guitar. Bluesbunny has not heard so much raw energy captured since the days of the pyschobilly masters, the Meteors. The room shakes with every song. Fortunately, we like our guitars loud at Bluesbunny Towers even if the neighbours don't. And then there is that unmistakeable sound that you can only get with an upright bass.
On the grounds that you should always start off as you mean to continue, Big John cranks the volume right up with the opening track "Aren't You Pretty". Surf licks abound on "Salome's Last Dance". He takes a stroll through Cramps territory with "Goo Goo Muck". "Alison Hell" is an instrumental earthquake that segues into the vampiric joys of "44 Love Bites". Best track to our ears was "Train Wreck" featuring some demented banjo playing to accompany Big John's deranged vocals.
Rip roaring, house rocking fun - that's the vibe that we got from listening to this album. Without a doubt, Big John Bates would scare the accountants at any major record company out of their neatly pressed pants. Like a '57 Chevy on the road out of Helltown, Big John Bates is not stopping for anyone. Relish it in all its grungy, rockabilly, lo-fi glory. Available from CD Baby.