The HOT RAILS: "Single Entendre" 6

TSM/Slw 2010 
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom, rock united review
21 November 2010

What to expect from a CD and band where the lead vocalists says the meaning of his existence was revealed to him by a beautiful woman with eight legs and snakes for hair??? Damn right... why do you think they call it dope? Frontman and overall troublemaker, Ken Janssen describe himself as the laziest man in show business (gee, there's a surprise, I neeever expected him to be a slacker!!!), so, he recruited four more slackers (it reads: superheroes in the press-release though) of rock to drink beer, make records and hopefully teach a few hipsters that it's ok if you don't take yourself too seriously. Not a problem whatsoever, dude, we never intended to take your music seriously in the first place.

But... sort of seriously though, Hot Rails have taken the Cleveland Scuzz Rock scene by storm (probably more like a silent fart), playing sold out (really?) shows with a vide variety of acts from Ted Leo and The Pharmacists to L.A. Guns and from Money Suzuki (who?) to Fastball. Well, this Cleveland five-piece lay down the beat like a tourettes inflictied gang - solid, fuzzy, and completely unpredictable. Subsequently, "Single Entendre" and Hot Rails subscribe to the garage/stoner theory of musicianship, it's noisy, loud, and the guitar riffs echo the long gone days of MC5, Stooges, Dictators, Hendrix, vs. the more modern stuff of Monster Magnet and The Hellacopters. Have we heard it before? Yes, indeed, but the outcome is still quite effective.

To say this album is all about attitude is like saying life is like box of chocolate or whatever. This comes at ya' like a mad soccer hooligan out of Millwall, all pumped up with engery and dope and sadly lacking the finess to become truly essential. Don't get me wrong though, I sort of like the fuzzy attitude of Hot Rails and they sound very retro and professional at times. "Dealbreaker" is like a smack in the face of Jimi, a touch of Stooges, and mere hint(s) of The Hellacopters. "Death From Above" is The Dictators and the mad 'Handsome' Dick Manitoba right down to the shoe-laces. It's good old fun and they're certainly a capable bunch of slackers. My advice - go and watch 'em live if you're ever in Cleveland...