It’s only been a few weeks since Rum Bar Records gave out the excellent ‘XOXOXO, Volume One’ sampler showcasing some of their current roster and upcoming releases, but the label is already giving away yet more music to satisfy your underground rock and pop needs.
‘Rocktober II’ features a few current bits and pieces, but in a brilliant contrast to ‘XOXOXO’, it digs much further back into the label’s history, providing a superb recap for those who’ve only just discovered Rum Bar and their family of musicians.
The Rum Bar label has a lot of good stuff readied for release over the next couple of months. They’re bringing you the debut EP from The Shang Hi-Los, new material from Hayley & The Crushers and The Cheap Cassettes. That’s on top of an ongoing reissue programme for old Melted Records acts and the truckload of stuff they put out during the last quarter of 2020. The guys at the label have never been busier.
Boston’s Dirty Truckers have never been shy of showing a cheeky side and applying that to some good old-fashioned, trashy riffs. This has rarely been offered in such a direct way as on ‘Little Mine’, the lead single from their 2020 compilation disc ‘Second Dose’. It’s barely two lines in before frontman Tom Baker sings of someone in their “birthday suit” before applying that image to “a twinkle in your eye”. Granted, it’s merely saucy and certainly not on the same level as David Coverdale singing about leg-spreading less than a minute into the Whitesnake debut LP from ’78, but there’s something about this sexual memory that sort of sets the trashy tone for the following thirty minutes. In terms of music, there’s plenty within this tune’s Slim Dunlap meets Keef Richards schtick. If anything, its combination of relentless pace and unfussy backing vocals makes everyone sound more energised than before: the riffs are ballsy; the lead vocals husky…and combined, the bar-room sound really flies. It sounds so much like classic Truckers, even a one line hook can’t hold it back. Sliding into ‘Hotel Highway View’ the disc effectively opens with a massive one-two suckerpunch. A number that highlights John Brookhouse’s sleazy guitar, the band deliver a three minute musical love letter to Johnny Thunders. It’s bread and butter stuff for them, but sounds great. If you love that grubby rock ‘n’ roll style, you’ll definitely find yourself being swept along by the band’s energy.
Tom Baker is somewhat of a legend on the Boston music scene. As frontman for his own band The Snakes and as a member of The Dirty Truckers, he’s known for delivering swaggering rock music with a retro charm. 2019’s ‘Dirty Snakes’ presents itself as Baker’s first official solo release, but as its title more than suggests, it still retains a very strong link with his previous works as the six tracks find him backed by members of both bands.
Aah, Boston. How we love you. Home to Buffalo Tom. Home to The Russians. Home to Aerosmith, The Lemonheads, Pixies, Mission of Burma, ‘Til Tuesday and countless other great bands. Boston is probably second only to New York as the US’s spiritual home of great rock music.
Boston is also home to The Neighborhoods, Watts, Tom Baker & The Snakes and Worshipper, all of whom have connections to The Dirty Truckers.