Saturday, June 01, 2013

The twang is back. Oh, I know there are a host of approximations but I’m talking about THAT twang. The twang the Del-Lords perfected back there awhile. Around the time of the “Great Roots Rock Scare” that Lou Whitney has been known to comment upon. Y’see this twang has a groove, it has a sense of purpose. It’s not there to try and take the strain on a song that might not exactly be up to scratch. And nor would it require to be because Scott Kempner doesn’t deal in so-so.

“Elvis Club” is the sound of a band making a record to please themselves, because it was time. Whatever wrought them asunder at the time is water under the proverbial. In some ways it’s a logical follow up to “Lovers Who Wander”. It was understated in many ways and it never got the head of steam it deserved at the time. Three-quarters of the original band have reported for duty so that makes it more than just another run around the block.

As “When The Drugs Kick In”, kicks in – all you want to do is find out when they’re playing and trying to figure out how you might get there. It’s a hit in as much as it pretty much sets out the stall. Eric Ambel knows how the band should sound and as he takes the vocal on “Flying”, it’s clear that there’s a sense that they know that they’re doing it for us. And for those who have yet to discover this combo. The trick is going to be in connecting the two. There are some east coast US shows on the immediate horizon but the big news is that they’re headed for Europe in October/November. The UK is included even although we don’t really deserve to be.

If there’s one obvious shift in gear here then perhaps it’s toward a blues notion here and there in relation to pace. This could just be a natural thing in relation to age. The fact that there is a new Del Lords album at all is cause for celebration. The fact that it cuts it is even better. Sometimes Scott sounds a little like Joe Strummer, like on “Letter (Unmailed)”, perhaps that’ll help a few more people get the memo. In my opinion, Kempner has always been head and shoulders above that guy – or any of his bands including The Cl*sh. I met someone else recently who thought “Give ‘em Enough Rope” was their best record and we all know why that is... ha ha.

But I digress, we gather here to give thanks that The Del Lords are alive, kicking and heading in this direction. “Elvis Club” is brought to you by GB music, go enlist.

Two volumes of demos and rare, unreleased gear are also due to be made available in the near future. Details here.