Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bad Detectives 'B Movie Beat'

This is the second album from this West Country rock and roll band and it is, quite simply a cracker. My first thoughts were how appropriate it was that they were named after a Coasters song because all the BDs songs are like the classic Leiber and Stoller songs in that they are like little movies - three minutes long but full of humour and insights into the diverse interests of the groups' songwriters. First up is 'B-Movie Scientist' which explores the world of the cinematic boffin so beloved of the 50s flicks that obviously form part of the bands collective psyche. Next up is the delightfully catchy tune 'Bubble Car' which celebrates the funny little two seater cars that were a craze in the 60s. Following this is the pounding rock and roll of 'I'm In Love with the Mole Man's Girl' which is a beautifully crafted short story of being chased through caverns by moley henchmen for stealing a kiss from the pale female of the title. Another slice of pop craziness is 'Who Cut Your Hair' with all the humour of real life put into a rocking rhythm. 'Sacred and Profane' explores the link between the Devil's music and the Church which was so common in the golden age of American music, whereas 'Surf the Skies' tells the story of an outwardly boring man astrally flying in his sleep with references to silver umbilical chords and so on.
The subject matter of these witty songs are so varied as to defy categorisation - Ralph the Diving Pig is about a sideshow attraction so beloved in the US, whereas 'Doubleneck Guitar' tells the story of someone given one of those hefty behemoths by his girlfriend and the embarassment that followed it. Not sure whether these songs are autobiographical - has anyone in the band got a girlfriend who has a degree in ancient history and is obsessed by burial mounds? (Hubba Hubba) or has one of them ever owned a 59 Ford Popular? ('59 pop) - probably not, but the songs tell their stories well with cult references and a wink and a nod to those who share their trash culture obsessions. The lyrics are all printed in the accompanying booklet so you can appreciate their unique songwriting skills - the music goes from rockabilly, surf, country and pop with pedal steel and harp seasoning the sound which goes from Canvey to Kentucky in its range. So to conclude - a great album with well written songs destined to raise a smile among the discerning rock and roll fan as well as setting their toes a-tapping.