Boston's Racketeers are the band whose name has come to mean explosive rock and roll energy. Their wild stage show has attracted loyal fans from all corners of this country, and their debut EP - released in England - brought the irresistibly rocking rhythms of the Racketeers to the dance floors and airwaves of Europe. The moment their audience has most eagerly been awaiting has now arrived with their first full-length release. If you ask today's Hep-cat what they like most about the rock and roll sound, they'll tell you it's "the beat man, the beat." Their long anticipated disk has all that and more. The titles of these all-original compositions-" Out for Kicks"... "Rock Shop Hop" ... "Clip Joint Tramp" - resonate with the afterhours, on-the-road lifestyle the Racketeers live and breathe. But when you drop their platter onto your hi-fi, you'll also find yourself enjoying the smoother sounds of songs like "Walk My Baby Home" and "Hold Me Tight", as these musicians display their remarkable versatility. If you already know the Racketeers, you're sure to love their hi-energy rockabilly release. And if their disk is your introduction, get ready to be caught up by America's most exciting rock and roll racket .... Boston's infamous Racketeers.
See a RACKETEERS feature write up at the "Country Standard Time" web site
A REVIEW: June 4, 1998
The Racketeers - Bostons Infamous Rockabilly Racket! - 1 Track CD, Scollay Square Music - 22 Kingsboro Park #1, Boston, MA 02130
Wild, indescribable and furious fun-filled rock-a-billy music emanates from this 11 song release. All original material that invigorates the ear with the classic feel of vintage mid-50's American rock and roll: a near perfect marriage of Gene Vincent Blue Cap histronics and Eddie Cochran cool. Dana Stewart (former drummer for Amazing Royal Crowns) leads this explosive gang with a beat-heavy barrage of retro rythms and violent vocals as the defacto-front man/singer/percussionist. Unless one were to think that this effort was driven solely by the incredibly talented Dana, I'm here to tell you that this group shares the spotlight equally as each talented member is capable of supporting an average band by himself! Tom Umberger may seem shy and withdrawn, but he lets his guitar do the talking for him and boy can he make it scream! From Cliff Gallop riffs to Scotty Moore solo fills, this boy can deliver with gusto and gallantry. Spike Katz (transplanted from Toronto's "Royal Crowns") picked up on that Boston bedrock in an instant and fused a powerful rhythm section which allows the others to rock and roam with gleeful abandon. He's as much fun to watch as listen to: in a time when many bull string pluckers have reigned in the goofy, silly-billy antics, Spike has embraced it and taken it to another spaztic level! When you see them live you'll start sweating just by standing near Mr. Katz -he radiates that much energy! Don't even think about overlooking Jon Porth, the resident screamer and acoustic guitar mangler. His posing, strutting, yelping and strumming musically propels these four men over the top! It's a four ring circus when the Racketeers hit the stage.
The CD is superb. Four of the selections are rerecordings from a European 7" record (which should be picked up if at all possible!) but easily manage to capture just as much of the boys manic momentum. "Out For Kicks," "Easy on the Slacks," "Lost a Little Love" and "Rock Shop Hop" all feature blistering beats, throat scratching vocals and scorching guitar runs that evoke the best from both the classic and contemporary rock-a-billy eras. By far, my favorite selection is the danceable dittie "Clip Joint Tramp": an incredible number that boils over like a batch of baked beans with volcanic enthusiasm. This jumpin' and swingin' song COMMANDS you to take to the dance floor, but fellas -watch your wallet! "Jeez Louise" features a pumpin' piano part performed with aplomb by producer David Horak and stroll fans are treated to a timely turn on the tersly tempoed "Walk My Baby Home." "Hold Me Tight" is a jaunty romp fueled by the hillbilly string styling of Tom's teriffic talents. Bank heists never sounded as cool as in the album's last cut, the bouncy "Boston Brinks." The production on the CD is also excellent: no tinny sounds or crappy compression-it sounds as though recorded 'live' on vintage equipment, rare for a modern release. The average song seems to be about 2:00 minutes in length which means that each track is value packed with pure rockabilly goodness!
Most definitely a highly recommended purchase. ****
"Go Kat, GO! The
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