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Mambo Sons - "Play Some Rock & Roll"

Review: 164
Date: 1 Feb 04


Rating: 5 Stars

Tom Guerra - Guitars and Vocals
Scott Lawson - Guitars and Vocals
Mike Hayden - Drums and Vocals
Jeff Keithline - Bass and Vocals

Tracks Listing:
I Get Around Too Much
Blame It All On You
Come On Back
Strawberry Hill
River Is Wide
Little Live Thing
Our Time Is Getting Closer
What You Got
Everything Was Mine


The Mambo Sons new album is called "Play Some Rock and Roll" and that, in a nutshell, is exactly what these boys do. If Rock music is your particular bag then get this album. When was the last time you walked with an insolent swagger, an attitude of living life to the full, and a cheese eating grin plastered across your face? If that feeling was too long ago, get yourself some Mambo Sons.

So, what is special about this group of songs then? Well, 'Feel' would sum up in one word how these guys play, letting the music do the talking. Each song has its own definite character, whist retaining a Mambo groove that kicks you from one track to the next.

The band was formed in Connecticut by Tom Guerra (the Connecticut Connection is worn proudly on the sleeve of the Mambo Sons), who quickly teamed up with Scott Lawson to share the singing, guitar playing, and song writing in the band. The rhythm section is made up of the very busy bass of Jeff Keithline and the very tight drumming of Mike Hayden (no keyboards with Mambo Sons to fill out the sound, just crunching guitar licks).

Everyone who has ever played music, or even just bent an interested ear to a tune, has been influenced; Mambo Sons have obviously been listening to only the best in their formative years. If you like Humble Pie, the Faces, early AC/DC, with all the music given a twist of Connecticut, and believe quite rightly that every band should have a guitar player that sounds like Keith Richards, then it's a no-brainer that you instantly fall in love with this album - and with Mambo Sons. The dial is set on Classic Rock Music, something you can tap a foot to, or nod along with a mug of beer in your hand at the bar of Tahitian Queen on Beach Road during its famous Friday Afternoon Rock & Roll Happy Hour. Just ask the D.J., he will turn you onto Mambo Sons.

Every song is a little gem. The opener 'I Get Around Too Much' sets the tone right up front with its filthy opening guitar licks and good fun tongue in cheek lyrics as the band lock into that Mambo groove. 'River is Wide' is an absolute classic in the middle of the album; 'Rockaway' shows that the boys can slow it down and show their more tender side (even cowboys have feelings, you know); a lovely tribute to George Harrison with 'Our Time is Getting Closer'; Mott's own personnel favorite '79' with its gut wrenching guitar licks and snarling vocals, which must be show stopping when live; and 'Everything Was Mine' brings the album to a rousing conclusion.

Every song has its own, very strong melody, and the musicianship is flawless. The band’s only playing whatever is necessary, but not needlessly cluttering things up with a hundred notes when ten will do perfectly. Thank you. With this back to basics approach in the arrangements the album comes across with a timeless feel. I cannot recommend this album enough to lovers of good old fashioned, no frills Rock & Roll. If it's head banging Nu-Metal that you are after, then you might be barking up the wrong tree with Mambo Sons, but if you just want to kick up some dirt and have a good time, I suggest you look no further. You can also have some fun listening out for all the name checks scattered about amongst the lyrics. ‘Mambo Sons Play Some Rock and Roll’ would some up this review in seven words.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Re-chewed by Ella Crew


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