The Rumble Strips

16 07 2009

Well I’m back from Oxegen and despite getting utterly drenched and my phone drowning from all the rain, it was great fun. Highlights were Lady Gaga, Nick Cave, Therapy?, Katy Perry and the Gaslight Anthem and the reviews are in this week’s Hot Press.

Anywho, yesterday I dug out my copy of the new Rumble Strips album so I though I’d reprint the review up here to get back into the swing of things.

The Rumble Strips

Welcome To The Walk Alone (Island)

Four out of five

Welcome To The Walk Alone is the Rumble Strips second stab at fame and the cinematic slab of wax is almost certainly a step in the right direction. Produced by Mark Ronson (yes, he actually produces music when he’s not falling out of clubs with Daisy Lowe) songs such as ‘London’ and ‘Daniel’ have his finger-prints all over them. In many ways, Welcome To The Walk Alone is a bit like an old Brit flick from the 60s. The melodies are swooping, the lyrics drip with toothless melodrama and the staccato rhythms sound like they are right out of a Dusty Springfield single.

To say that the Rumble Strips owe a debt to Dexy’s Midnight Runners is like saying Marilyn Manson is partial to a little bit of make up every now and again. Literally every song from ‘Sweet Heart Hooligan’ to ‘Dem Girls’ oozes Kevin Rowland-isms, but since the former frontman prefers to sully his good name by cross-dressing and acting like a mentalist these days, we’re happy to have Rumble Strips’ Charlie Walker take his place. Welcome To The Walk Alone succeeds when it’s at its most pure. ‘Running On Empty’ is almost like a Shadows record (only, y’know, good) and the retro riffage is tastefully done too. All in all, it seems like the second time is the charm for the Rumble Strips.

 Key Track: ‘Running On Empty’

Edwin McFee

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