Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Jokers-Rock & Rock Is Alive


Yes, rock and roll is still alive. Just take a listen to The Jokers for proof. On the follow-up to their 2009 album, "The Big Rock 'n' Roll Show" (Two albums with rock and roll in the title? Really?) this Liverpool 4-piece brings to mind AC/DC first before they down play that slightly obvious influence in favor of bands of the classic rock variety. This 11-track release even sounds a bit more retro then modern thanks to producer Andy Macpherson (Eric Clapton, The Who, Barclay James Harvest, The Buzzcocks). The band, which is made up of two brothers in Paul  (guitar) and Simon (bass) Hurst, is lead by vocalist Wane Parry and rounded out by drummer Chris Poole. Together the four musicians delve into the archives of classic rock in order to fine-tune their own take on vintage sounding rock and roll. As guitarist Paul Hurst (in regards to their newer material) puts it "I love Free and their guitarist Paul Kossoff, just like The Who and Led Zeppelin, in other words all bands who play classic rock music with strong emotional vocal melodies and bluesy guitar riffs – pretty much like we do today." True enough it's that same rock and roll spirit that filters on down through all of The Jokers the heavy rocking riffs. Despite album art that would hint at something like glam or sleaze, and potentially bad glam and sleaze at that, these 4 musicians strut to the likes of AC/DC and the best classic rock that England has ever given us. When you start a band in England, that incorporates both rock and roll and boogie rock, it's quite likely that some of that rich classic rock history would rub off on you. We're talking about the likes of Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Who, Bad Company, Free, Mott The Hoople, The Faces and many more here. So, while the vibe on "Rock & Roll Is Alive" might suggest some appreciation of Angus Young and his mates, there's a bit of that classic English rock and roll attitude in these 11 cuts. As far as sophomore releases go (or, if you will, this album's overall quality) this one is good enough to suggest to classic rock and roll fans even if these 4 have a bit more to go before people start name-dropping The Jokers.

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