REVIEW DPRP 14.12.2009


Back in 2007, I reviewed the 2006 release, , from German trio Rolling Drunks. I made comment at that time that the music of RDs owed little if any allegiances to the progressive field, however as the album proved to be very enjoyable and as I felt that perhaps some of our readers might enjoy the band's music and so I undertook to do a review. Perhaps encouraged by my words, the band have chosen to send this DVD/CD combination for submission.

So have the Rolling Drunks made changes to their musical direction?

No! Not in the slightest.

So why another review?

In short - this is another cracking release and one which finds favour with this reviewer and will I think perhaps to some of our readers.

Firstly the DVD, which sees our trio of Horst Jabs (guitar & vocals), Thomas Weick (guitar) and Georg Grimm (bass) seated comfortably on stage, on three bar-type stools and in the pleasant surroundings of the Locco Barocco (Karlsruhe). This is an intimate concert, performed in front of a small but enthusiastic audience. The band play selections from four of their previous albums: Two Of A Kind, Modern Rome, Dark Actors Playing Games and the aforementioned Pukka Blokes. Along with this are three songs from the new studio album which forms the audio section of this package.

The atmosphere is laid back and one that suits the the R&B, "folk" rock style of music that the band play. Horst Jabs seems to be a bit of a character and speaks with ease with the audience in between the numbers, (and if I understood the German language, I might well have shared in this humour). Thomas Weick adds the in context solo sections as well as the ornamentations to the music. Georg Grimm adds the solid backbone. There is little else to add really.

Oh the bonus material. Perhaps avoid House Of The Rising Sun. As for the interviews and band features - certainly worth watching once.

The accompanying CD is NOT merely an audio version of the DVD concert, but is in fact a new studio album. The eight songs follow closely in the footsteps of their previous album, albeit this time around without the inclusion of Albert Lee. Keyboardist and backing vocalist Lisa Nicola returns however, and her contributions are excellent. Along with Nicole Strober these two vocalist add the finishing touches to Over Your Skin, one of the highlights of 131. With accordion accompaniment from Christoph Fürniß, this track might well have sat comfortably on a Guy Manning album. So with that tenuous prog link established, the following piece, Die Einsamkeit Der Wölfe (The Loneliness Of The Wolves), shows a more complex side to RDs. Kicking off in acoustic Dire Straits fashion, (a band who frequently come to mind whilst listening to the RDs), Lisa Nicola's keyboards cut nicely across the grain. This track also features two lengthy tenor saxophone solos courtesy of Jurek Gill. Gill also appears later on, this time adding the tuneful violin that features in the Dylan-esque Christine McQueen. The remaining five tracks also sit nicely together although more entrenched in a R&B format.

Once again, the album production is excellent and this is reflected in the audio on the DVD. The Rolling Drunks' website features a good multimedia section - so a chance to sample both Over Your Skin and Christine McQueen.

As with the band's previous release I've not offered a numerical rating - and again not to be taken as a reflection on the music, but more the nature of the DPRP site and the musical style offered by the RDs.

- BOB MULVEY -

 

 

REVIEW FAIRHEARING 15.03.2009

 

 

REVIEW DPRP 01.01.2008

“As a progressive rock site we receive hundreds of CDs every year from within our particular genre, (an encouraging sign), along with a plethora of CDs that are kindred to prog, as well as a good few albums that skirt the borders. And despite my best efforts to convince myself otherwise with Pukka Blokes, there is very little in the way of "progressive rock" I can find on this, the seventh release from Rolling Drunks. Even their name leads you in a different direction. So why feature a review in these pages I hear you ask. Well basically because I've really enjoyed listening to this album over the last couple of months and felt I maybe should pass on this find to you. Also having listened extensively to this album there are notions that nod their heads towards prog and jazz, albeit wrapped in acoustic, bluesy rock format.

I suppose the initial attraction came from the fact that Pukka Blokes features legendary guitarist Albert Lee, and as noted so in the album title. However, great as is his contribution to this release, I have to say that the music stands up on its own merits - Albert being the icing on the cake, so as to speak. At the core of Rolling Drunks are three seasoned musicians with Horst Jabs (guitar & vocals), Thomas Weick (guitar) and Georg Grimm (bass). As mentioned above Albert Lee guests on guitar (on tracks 1,2,3,4) and with Lisa Nicola (keys) and Wolfgang Eckertz (violin) featured elsewhere.

Musically we are in the ever increasingly popular format that is "unplugged". Not that I have heard any other release from RD to compare, but Pukka Blokes has the intimate and warm atmosphere of the stripped down acoustic set. At times I was mindful of Clapton's acoustic forays - his version of the classic Layla sprang to mind. Or perhaps the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over. Certainly we are in this sort of company, although a little more upbeat and with gentle sense of humour thrown in for good measure. Horst Jabs has a warm, expressive and engaging voice that sits snugly within the acoustic instruments. Whether sung in English (as is most of the album) or in German (Lass Mich Los and Überleben Als Mann). We should also not overlook the driving "rhythm section" here, with Georg Grimm and Thomas Weick who provide a strong impetus to the music. Weick also showing that he is no slouch when it comes to adding some lead guitar to the music.

If I had to pick a highlight from the album it would be the splendid Let Me Play The Lion Too, with its sprightly jazzy arrangement and "in context" solo section from Albert Lee. The slower middle section drops in a tad abruptly but the violin works nicely with the lyrics - courtesy of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". A track that just makes you feel good and gets the feet tapping away...

So all in all an enjoyable album and one that will continue to find its way into my CD player over the coming years. Pukka Blokes benefits greatly from the clear production, maintaining a live feel but with the instruments and vocals nicely balanced. The gatefold packaging is first rate with full lyrics and notes on each of the tracks. The album is available through the band's website and should this review have sparked some interest - audio and visual samples can be found via the "samples" link above. Now because of the nature of the album I've not offered a numeric conclusion. However this is not to be taken as a reflection on the music, which, if you are looking for something a little different, might well fit the bill.”

- BOB MULVEY -

 

 

REVIEW “GUITAR NINE RECORDS” 03/07

“You must be careful when reading the German band the Rolling Drunks' CD title - read it several times just to make sure it doesn't say what you think it might say, but really doesn't (especially considering drunks recorded it). Their CD, entitled “Pukka Blokes”, really does feature Albert Lee, who lends his incredible lead guitar work to the first four tracks. Thomas Weick provides lead guitar on the remaining tracks, all of which were written with acoustic instruments in mind, which gives the album a great "unplugged" feel. Even if you're not ripping drunk, rolling drunk, or somewhere in between, you can appreciate the wonderful musicianship on this album. It's a rock CD done purposefully with acoustic instruments, and it's an infectious slice of musical steak - have yours "well done".”

 

 

REVIEW “SOUNDCHECK” 01/07

“Apart from their rock crackers, the Rolling Drunks' hard rock formation now got also an unplugged programme. The band has just recorded an acoustic album called “Pukka Blokes” and could win guitar legend Albert Lee for playing a couple of songs with them.

After many years of working together, both live and in studio, the band became an organic unit, for that reason, the backing tracks were brought in live. The working atmosphere in the Twilight Sound Studio is enormously familiar and very productive. The co-operation with Albert Lee as style-shaping and legendary guitarist was one of the big higlights in the biography of the Rolling Drunks in professional and in human way.”

- Many Bachinger -

 

 

REVIEW “RORYS FRIENDS” VOM 09.12.2006

“The Rolling Drunks’ heavy rock formation, founded in 1991, as acoustic trio together with the legendary English guitar hero ALBERT LEE who played together with Rory, of course (Jerry Lee Lews “London Session”), as special guest.
“PUKKA BLOKES” really is a beautiful acoustic album ... pleasant rock songs, eight songs which go right into your ears ... and also two songs with German lyrics: “Lass Mich Los” and “Überleben Als Mann” which orientate themselves towards the progressive rock of the early 70's. Heavy rock presented in that way ... awesome!!
The band had some of their songs as acoustic versions for quite a long time on their mind. Albert Lee plays lead guitar on four tracks, which ones – that won't be revealed!
Unfortunately, there are only 1000 copies of this successful cd!! ... and to be exclusively ordered on: rollingdrunks.de
Résumé: Great music which is timeless! As digipac and booklet with lyrics, photos and info material.
That's rock'n'roll ... keep on!!

Your 20$Bill

from rorysfriends.de”

 

 

REVIEW “GITARRE & BASS” VOM 13.11.2006

“Heavy rock rooted to the soil and totally different: The Rolling Drunks from Karlsruhe present themselves on their meanwhile seventh album “Pukka Blokes” completely acoustic and with an interesting history. In spring this year, the band was on the road as support for the legendary country picker Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes. And therewith the whole thing harmonizes musically, they decided to unplug the Rolling-Drunks-hard-&-heavy-programme which was advisable because the musicians had the recordings of some acoustic versions of their own songs on their mind for quite a long time. That Albert Lee liked the performance and accepted spontaneously to play some tracks in the studio, was a real dodge for the three hard rockers, of course. So, a cd was released which wonderfully transports the intimate atmosphere of an acoustic session and is ennobled by master Albert’s play. Real music – real characters.!”

- Lothar Trampert -

 

 

 

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