September 14, 2009

Tom Allalone & The 78s

Tom Allalone & The 78s

I was watching From Dusk Till Dawn  the other day, and as the Guadalajaran Mariachi meets Texan Rockabilly ‘Titty Twister’ house-band unceremoniously smashed out sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll tracks, the Gecko brothers sunk shot after shot of fire water, and half-naked strippers slithered serpentine around greased poles (no innuendo intended) I couldn’t help but be reminded of this furious freight-train of a Rock ‘n’ Roll band, Tom Allalone & The 78s. Cooler than The Fonz, as impeccably styled as Costello, as rifftastic as a double-dose of  Mando Diao, and reeking of Zakk Wylde fresh from a JD and Tequila bender, Tom Allalone and his troupe’s debut album, released earlier this year, Major Sins pt.1, is full of good-times tracks guaranteed to have you throwing shapes like it’s 1978.
Tracks like Get Down & Dirty and Hell Hath No Fury evoke images of Wild West train robbers on horse-back gallopping towards an unsuspecting steam train, with whirlwind, delay-doused Rock riffs, jagged guitar stabs heavy on the whammy bar, lightning fast drum-patterns with chugging snare hits, walking basslines, and (in the case of the latter track) backing vocals ‘choo-chooing’. Dogshit Street, Wounded and, one of my personal favourites, Ten Little Cuts meanwhile would be at home in a late license smokey Jazz bar, or a prohibition-era speakeasy. Ten Little Cuts in particular is rife with delicate muted soprano sax lines, waltzing double-bass riffs, subtle brass and key licks, and melancholic and lonely lyrics dealing with the introspection and self-loathing that follows a breakup. Take once nightly with a JD on the rocks and a fat Havana. Displaying an impressive versatility, Allalone and the boys, make for the border of Mexico (a long way from their native Gravesend!), conjuring up images of a perhaps mythical (though Tom assures us that it is a real club in Talbot Place) Casillero Del Diablo. Mariachi brass, spanish rhythms and melodies and expressive vocals paint a vivid picture of the debauchery, lunacy and depravity that might take place in the ‘Devil’s Cellar’. Sign me up!
This is a sleazy, fast-paced, and raucus album, that’ll whisk you away on a riptide of Mississippi Delta meets Catalan Bullrunning imagery. JD meets Tequila; the Stomp meets the Samba; and carnage and mayhem will ensue!

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