The New Trocaderos – Thrills and Chills (2015)

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Real rock and roll — meaning real people, playing real instruments, peddling real songs bursting with guts and glory — is hard to come by these days. But the New Trocaderos are the genuine article, and their latest album Thrills and Chills logs in as a loaded memento to the music they love so much.

Comprised of lead singers and guitarists Brad Marino and Kurt Baker, guitarist Geoff Palmer, keyboardist Kris “Fingers” Rodgers, and drummer Rick Orcutt, the band breathes so much fire and fury into their insanely catchy tunes that it’s surprising there isn’t a safety warning sticker plastered across the disc.

Assured vocals, exploding with haughty passion, backed by gigantic choruses, stand in perfect accord with shaking keyboards, battery-charged drumming, and stabbing six-string somersaults that sound like Chuck Berry battling it out with Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. The energy and tension is mad and manic, yet the New Trocaderos remain in full control of the situation. Compact performances, stuffed with burly melodies and concrete arrangements give the songs on Thrills and Chills (Uncle Mike’s RnR) an instantly likeable flair.

Managed by a barbed and bluesy swagger, “I’m So Bad” is steeped in the vein of prime Rolling Stones, while “By The Balls” and “What The Hell Did I Do” race, rumble, and roar with the kind of garage punk bite associated with the Fleshtones. Images of the Yardbirds having a rave-up with Foghat arrive on the “Business To Tend To,” which features the smoking snort of a harmonica amid the jam-happy boogie, and “Midnight Creep” is suitably titled, as it slinks along at a cautious pace and projects impressions of peeping-toms and other assorted weirdos lurking in the shadows.

Sitting apart in the wildly rocking crowd are a pair of pure pop efforts, “Like An Angel” and “Crazy Little Fool.” Lifting inspiration from the fabled Brill Building staff, both these sugary songs bleed with teen appeal prose. Crooning, cooing, and squeaking with naked emotions, “Like An Angel” and “Crazy Little Fool” further wander into Buddy Holly territory.

An Animal House-styled party ambience, surrounded by pounding garage rock grooves and crafty pop detours steer Thrills and Chills towards the cherry red masterpiece that it is. The New Trocaderos certainly have a lot on the ball, in regards to the way they remodel their influences — that additionally include Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Sonics, and the Plimsouls — and are able to claim them as their own. There’s nothing nostalgic about Thrills and Chills, as the songwriting is original, and chops are fresh, and the attitude rests in the present.

In a just world, the New Trocaderos would be selling stacks of records and their cool tunes would be constantly aired on the radio. That said, do your part now, grab a copy of Thrills and Chills and support this great band that is doing a fantastic job of keeping the spirit of rock and roll alive and well.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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