The release this album in 2022 marks the end of a decade long silence from Boston rockers The Dirty Truckers. It’s not that the band members have been absent in that time, of course: frontman Tom Baker has released enjoyable works, both solo and with his other band, The Snakes (also featuring the Truckers’ John Brookhouse); guitarist Tad Overbaugh released a solo album in 2015, and drummer John Lynch released a truckload of material with his “other” band, Watts. In addition, an excellent digital compilation, ‘Second Dose’, also provided potential new fans with a handy recap. Whichever way you approach it, the Truckers left their fans with plenty to enjoy during the lengthy sabbatical.
A new power pop sensation, The Shang Hi-Los, emerged at the end of 2020. Their debut EP, ‘Kick It Like A Wicked Bad Habit’, served up five tracks of guitar driven, bubblegum inflected fun, big on harmonies and bigger on hooks. If their talents were under any doubt, a spirited cover of Chicago’s ‘Saturday In The Park’ which stoked up the guitars without losing any of the original’s 70s pop flair showed how versatile this new, all star band could be.
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.
It seems unbelievable that we’re now half way through the year, but here we are. We discovered and shared a truckload of new music during the first quarter, half expecting things to fizzle out as we moved towards the northern hemisphere summer, but it really wasn’t the case. If anything, the year’s second quarter was every bit as strong.
On July 23rd 2021, Rum Bar Records are hosting a special gig. Their “Boston Blowout” will be headlined by garage rock legends Dogmatics, and feature a strong supporting line up of four of the city’s best loved underground bands.