Is rock ’n’ roll in 2016 a dinosaur? Yes a fucking T-Rex! And it’s coming to rip your guts out!
But seriously, boys and girls, Seattle trio Night Beats viz. Danny Lee Blackwell (guitar / vocals), Jakob Bowden (bass) & James Traeger (drums), do not quite care whether their music is relevant or not.
Who Sold My Generation is very much a record in the great Texan musical tradition of acid-drenched outlaw music viz. The Elevators, The Red Krayola, pre-ZZ Top band The Moving Sidewalks, The Butthole Surfers and The Black Angels.
“The Elevators were one of the reasons I decided to become a singer and form the group,” says Blackwell. “I loved their attempt to play R’n’B music, but from a distinctly Texan approach. I’d say they have profoundly influenced the group, but it’s now our job to take it to another level in a new age.”
It’s down and dirty, rides the time wave when 60s pop was slowly evolving into rock, where garage collided into psychedelia, marking out a very special time in rock ’n’ roll.
Not only that but the band picks up the slack when it comes to socio-political commentary with “No Cop” (music video below), a song about the recent unrest over police brutality and killings – “Another body on the curb downtown, too scared to even smile when the piper comes in town.”
Elsewhere, on the grungy “Last Train to Jordan”, the band makes allusions to the Promised Land and how perhaps, this current American youth generation has somewhat missed the boat, or the train.
There’s no doubt that Night Beats do their best to sound authentic, like on the surf-rock monster, “Shangri Lah” or on the opening visceral salvo of “Celebration #1” – there’s no mistaking their commitment to rock ’n’ roll on Who Sold My Generation.
Flying the freak flag for all analog rock ’n’ rollas out there on the fringes, this is the album to reclaim rock ’n’ roll for all that that’s worth.