Hold onto your dirty double denim as we’re about to nosedive into the no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll world of The Volcanics from Perth, Australia. As we hit the ground running we get 11 tracks that sound like they fought their way out of the backdoor of a Swedish tin shanty garage whilst The Peepshows and The Chuck Norris Experiment were looking the other way.
As Natural in a Way kicks open the saloon doors of a sleaze bar, I’m picking up the aroma of cigarette stained fingers, stale beer dribbling down an off-white vest and burnt out engine oil from Barry Sheene’s Suzuki XR14… and it smells delicious!
Chain follows suit with more than enough call and response action to get a crowd going in the live setting. Johnny Phatouros’ vocal style sounds a lot like that of Rob Younger of Aussie garage rock legends Radio Birdman. Wait! Younger is actually at the slick production helm, as he has been on previous releases by The Volcanics, and it’s a perfect combination.
There’s some great honky tonk piano and crunchy guitar on Speed on the Track, a stand-out tune for me. Imagine Ronnie Wood leading the Faces through a punk phase and you’d be somewhere near. Comparisons to aforementioned Swedish garage rock overlords continue on the impressive Empty Rooms as Strängen era Hellacopters riffs rattle the speakers.
Are The Volcanics gonna reinvent the rock ‘n’ roll wheel? Hell no, and why should they? Imagine if AC/DC did a jazz album; no-one wants that. Oh Crash… continues The Volcanics’ big rock tune formula and it’s all the better for it. The “Heys” are in all the right places, the bass growls (see Circle), there are drum rolls Rat Scabies would be proud of and the sizzling six string licks will have you playing air guitar in front of your bedroom mirror in no time. If you want garage rock blood, you’ve got it! Ginge Knievil.