RingMaster Review: Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers "Ugly Mobile"
With some artists, the news of a new release sparks a twitch in the hips and itch in the feet. Such it is with Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers after enjoying four slabs of the band’s individual rock ‘n’ roll, and such it was coming into new album Ugly Mobile. Containing fourteen slices of multi-flavoured incitements bred on the seeds of original rhythm ’n’ blues, the album is manna for the ears and a puppeteer to the body. Released via the ever treat giving Dirty Water Records, the press release for Ugly Mobile stated that the album is the band’s “finest offering so far!” After the umpteenth romp with the irresistible release, we can find no reasons to disagree.
It is hard to be surprised at the sound and infectious mischief that Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers create when you look at its members. The band is led by vocalist/guitarist Sir Bald Diddley (aka Hipbone Slim), the man seemingly involved in more bands than a wedding courting jeweller. Among the list is the inimitable likes of Louie & The Louies, The Kneejerk Reactions, Sir Bald Diddley And His Right Honourable Big Wigs, and The Magnificent Escapades; that just ‘scratching the surface’ of his tenacious presence and work. Alongside him is drummer Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand, a veteran of bands such as the Milkshakes, Headcoats, the Masonics and more who has also worked with Holly Golightly, the Pretty Things, Downliners Sect, Wreckless Eric, Mungo Jerry, and Link Wray. The line-up is completed by bassist/harmonica player Gastus Receedus who has played in the likes of Big Wigs, Arousers, Playboys, and worked with legends such as Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess, and Dale Hawkins amongst many. It is a trio which let rips from the first note of Ugly Mobile and relentlessly continues to incite and thrill until its flirtatious last.
The album opens with Bald Head, Hairy Guitar, a track opening like a Hank Mizell scented rumble as bass and drums grumble with a wink in their creative eye. In no time Sir Bald is spilling guitar and vocal bait into the virulent mix, the song mixing prowling devilment and infectious stomping to grip ears and body with relish. The same applies to the album’s title track which follows. You can almost see the grin on its creative face and eager energy as it flirts with a Bo Diddley spiced shuffle very easy and very quick to get physically and vocally involved in.
Orangutan steps up next, it’s beguiling coaxing carrying a great Johnny Kidd & the Pirates feel to its sultry persuasion and sound. The beats of Gastus alone create an anthemic trap reinforced by the great throaty roam of Bash’s bass. Further bound in the spicy string picking prowess of Sir Bald, the song as its predecessors, needs little time to seduce and enslave before One Armed Bandit brings its own quick persuasion, this time the band slipping in a seductive Del Shannon reminding melody amongst strands of surf rock tempting. A spark for ears and imagination, the instrumental also shows the variety already flowing through the album’s first quartet of songs.
The garage rock boisterousness of Sally Mae continues that flavoursome spread, keys and nagging riffs riveting textures in its rawer rock ‘n’ roll before Voodoo Love puts its late fifties/early sixties hex on ears and appetite. The fun uncaged simply continues as the exotic mystique of Hieroglyphic dances and flirts with the listener, its instrumental seduction nostalgia and fresh revelry combined whilst Hey Ramona! simply has the body bouncing with its lively contagion.
A steely texture lines the guitar bait as Hammond-esque enticement adds further tasty hues to next up Indestructible Love; the track part garage punk and part blues in its old school seeded rock ‘n roll that warms ears up nicely for the throbbing suggestiveness of Why Can’t I Find What I’m Lookin’ For. From its opening bass swing, the track has lust offered in return and only increasing its hold as a Meteors meets Billy Lee Riley like croon blossoms thereon in. The track simply hits the spot as too the excellent Don’t Know Where To Start, an irresistible and ridiculously catchy call for voice and body participation swiftly answered as the Johnny Cash tinted track ignites the passions.
The smouldering flirtation of Meanwhile, Back In The Jungle keeps things inflamed with its tribal rhythms and imagination stroking hooks before Number One Son brings limbs into even keener action with its blues hued rockabilly and Joe Poovey like tenacity.
Closing with the bracing rocker, There’s Only One Louie, band and album provide a feel good stomp that simply leaves ears, spirit, and emotions high. If real rock ‘n’ roll is to your fancy, Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers and Ugly Mobile are a must.
Ugly Mobile is out April 22nd via Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/~/category/id=10017028&offset=0&sort=normal
Pete RingMaster 18/04/2016
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