I’m not a big rockabilly fan, but occasionally a band like Lords of the Highway comes along and blows me away. At first, I wasn’t sure what separated Lords of the Highway from the pack, but after repeated listens, I’ve got some theories. For one, Dennis Bell’s guitar owes more to Dick Dale’s influence than it does to Buddy Holly or Gene Vincent. Also, the rhythm section doesn’t lie back and leave everything up to the guitar and vocals; they get off their asses and rip through their own side trips throughout the songs. There’s a lot of energy and bounce to all the songs. The result is an album that stays true to the spirit of rockabilly, but incorporates ’50s and early ’60s rock’n’roll in new ways, gathers up a healthy dose of punk aesthetic, and makes something that’s new and interesting and fun to listen to all the way through. I’m not sold on the cover of Danzig’s “Twist of Cain,” but it’s got my wife dancing.
–sean (Rocknroll Purgatory)