Monday, December 12, 2022


Peterborough, ON's fantastic Weber Brothers do two things very, very well: They play great rock 'n' roll, and they write great rock 'n' roll tunes. When the pandemic shut down most gigs, that left them with lots of writing time, and a backlog of tunes with little opportunity to play 'em. In 2021, in between lockdowns, there was a brief period where the band could all get together and record, so they set up and let the new songs flow, recording a massive 31 tracks in 13 hours. This new album features 10 of the songs, part one of what they are calling The Water Street Trilogy.

Only the best live bands can do that, and Ryan and Sam Weber lead a solid team, with Emily Burgess on guitar, Marcus Browne on drums, and multi-instrumentalist Rico Browne. This is rock 'n' roll as it was first designed, the rules passed on by the band's mentor, Ronny Hawkins. The songs feature strong, stinging guitar, big backbeats, rollicking piano, and lots of old-school echo. This isn't generic rock music, the term thrown at anything post-1950s, but rather actual rock 'n' roll, with Sun Records as the template and the British Invasion as the only needed advancement. 

The album opens with the title cut, a sort of Ventures-meets-The Wild Bunch theme from an imaginary movie, or the sequel to "Secret Agent Man." For "Think Again," think Beatles '64, sweet slashing guitar chords with lots of nods to "You Can't Do That." For straight rockabilly, I can't think of a better current band. Check out "Greatest of the Greatest," a tribute to Muhammed Ali, complete with all his famous braggadocio. And "Blitzkrieg Baby" is rockabilly at a Ramones pace, which would have given Carl Perkins a heart attack.

The one cover is a great reworking of the 1958 cut by Ivan (a/k/a Jerry Allison of The Crickets), "Real Wild Child," also famously covered by Iggy Pop, which shows how punky rock 'n' roll has worked great. It's one of those albums where I had to keep checking the writing credits to make sure the cuts weren't rare gems the band had found, some obscure Bo Diddly or Gene Vincent number I didn't know. But no, the Webers band just does it real, right, and righteous, and doesn't need eight months of overdubs and click tracks to make it sound great.

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