When a band has been together for twenty years, you know they’re probably doing something right. And when the band can make the rockabilly sound feel like it never left, then the band is probably doing quite a few things right.
Such is the case with the Royal Crowns, who are doing both the things mentioned in the previous paragraph. I’ve heard a few different bands doing the rockabilly thing, but I have to say that the Royal Crowns take the cake. Volume Three is a focused, jam-packed and utterly glorious collection of songs that will make you wish the 50s could come back.
As someone who recently took a course in popular music, I was delighted to see that the twelve-bar blues form has not died. In the songs “Butterball Baby” and “Heavy Baby” you can hear the familiar form taken from (obviously) the blues in the verses.
Another thing you’ll hear is the confident swagger in the vocals of guitarist Danny Bartley and drummer Teddy Fury (who, may I add, has an awesome name). The opener “You Sure Know What You’re Doin'” is a pure joy which features a whole lot of swagger and some really, really tasty guitar solos.
With such a fun genre, there isn’t really any need to be serious, thus the hilarious “3 Dollar Cologne” fits the album well. The message of the song is simple: if you want girls to fall all over you, all you need is some 3 Dollar Cologne and they’ll be falling all over you.
There are a few good “ode to a woman” songs, my favourite being “Please Stop.” While it sounds like a scolding, the narrator of the song is instead wishing that his love wasn’t so perfect because perfect things never seem to last. “She’s Got It, And I Want It” more or less speaks for itself- if “Please Stop” is about a pure, untainted love, then this song is about the not-safe-for-work kind of love. Ditto “Johnny’s Sister” which is almost like an updated version of Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl” (though this track is less cheesy by a mile).
There’s also a few instrumental songs that the band flexes its muscle with in the form of “Pickled Beats” and “End Run.”
At a whopping fifteen songs, Volume Three should be a surefire addition to the fans of rockabilly and roots music. The album will be available tomorrow, May 22, followed by a CD release show on May 25. Check out the band’s website for more details.
Top Tracks: “You Sure Know What You’re Doin'”; “Butterball Baby”; “Cry Cry Baby”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*