Darrell Bath - 'Roll Up' (Livewire/Cargo Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Monday, 07 December 2015 03:00

bathrollupYou know those musicians you just sort of 'GET'? No matter what they do you always seem to like it and it always seems to resonate with you? Well, Darrell Bath is one of those cats and regardless of if he was making a racket with the UK Subs, standing in with The Vibrators, or maybe rocking and rolling with The Dogs D'Amour, he just delivered; never mind his solo stuff (Darrell Bath or Sabre Jet) or the fantastic Crybabys. Imagine my joy when I got wind of the new album by Mr. Bath hot on the heels of last year's EP and this time with fellow Crybabys in tow I couldn't wait for the virtual needle to drop into the virtual groove.


I don't care that it only contains nine songs (didn't most albums only contain nine or ten anyway back in the day?), as soon as my speakers vibrated with the sound of that Les Paul Jr on opener 'Dancin With The Devil's Goombah' I knew this was gonna be right on the money and my ears were soon to be jiggin' along with a veritable rock 'n' roll party. Sure, it's nothing too fancy nor groundbreaking as guitars duel and Robbie Rushton's drums pound out the rock steady rhythm. It's those licks 'n' fills that deliver the goods as the laid back rasp of Bath's vocals just about tie a bow on proceedings.


The bar is raised even further as the good times roll in. 'It's In The Music' is classic acoustic picking over the top of an overdriven bit of magic - this could only get marginally better if it were a new Crybabys album with Honest John Plain adding his rock 'n' rollness to proceedings. The way it falls out for the bridge is just wonderful because you just know it's going back up with one of those 100% pure barroom rock 'n' roll guitar solos! Damn, I love this!! When good time rock 'n' roll is played this well and songs written this good what else do you need?


I'm glad I trusted my instincts and as soon as I saw the players and the track list I kinda knew this was going be a little bit of dynamite and so far I'm not wrong because the jig is up on 'Dirty Rocky Road' which is kinda laid back and just rolls on by without a care in the world.


If you want a party then you have to invite 'Slimline Jim' which is exactly as you are imagining it. With the obvious rhyming lyrics and a 12 bar boogie that's got a beautiful slide guitar overcoat on that just fits so well this is as good as anything Nikki Sudden could come up with at his best (funnily enough when Mr. Bath popped up on one of his records). If Johnny Thunders were still with us I'd like to think this is where he'd be at. For the next three minutes it's all about a good time and this is GOOD!!


Now, 'Love And Hurt' was a terrific album but it was a bit darker and mellower than this offering - who knows, maybe Bath is in a much better place and that's reflected in the songs, but the likes of 'Clingin' On' would have stood out head and shoulders on that album.


Every record needs light and shade and 'Eye For An Eye' provides the time out and adds a bit of light reflection as the hypnotic twang of that acoustic guitar is mesmerising and Bath turns in a spectacular vocal that displays heart and soul. When I checked the track list and saw that this number lasted over seven minutes I couldn't believe it as it flew by and I'd been charmed by the artful dodger.


I'm not bothered too much about saying what I hear and if I like something then I wouldn't be true to myself if I played something down and on the same note if I were to big up a record that didn't deserve it then I'd only be fooling myself, but this is an absolute keeper and as the tempo on 'Eye For An Eye' raises not too dissimilar to (dare I say it) 'Sympathy For The Devil' (hear it you'll know what I mean) then at least you know where this album is coming from. It's birthed in the same place Keef was at in the South of France in the early '70s - it's got style and substance which is an all too rare commodity today with a throw away culture, this album can be turned to time after time after time. I guess even the lyrics to 'Muppets' have charm and quality that are built to last and raise a cheeky smile from the listener.


'Rat Palace' is late night Soho as it lurches from its intro to its swagger and back into the stagger before the chorus is up and running again. To close this bad boy off 'Man Monkey' is a breeze from the harmonica wheeze to the loose riff  - it's a toe tapper for sure and deserves an audience as big as London itself.  


There are no down sides to this album, it's been nothing short of an absolute pleasure from opening chord to ending crescendo.


Darrell Bath has been panning for gold and struck a rich seam, no doubt about it. 'Roll Up' is the dog's danglies and apart from being an unsung hero and a little bit of a genius methinks, Darrell Bath has released one of the finest offerings. In a year when there has been an absolute avalanche of good records this is one of the best. Ignore it at your peril!!!

 approved image lrg 2013



To pick up your copy of 'Roll Up' - CLICK HERE