Let it Rock – The RADS
Released – October 2023 Reviewed – 17th October 2023 by Rockin' Rebel.
The Rads are a rock n roll band from the West Midlands. UK, who first formed in 2020 just as the pandemic arrived and completely stopped all music from being performed or recorded. They did manage one gig however before the lockdown. In 2022 and managed to pick up where they left off and hit the clubs and Rocking events with great force. An album was soon being discussed for 2023 and now it has finally hit the social media platforms with a CD being also available.
Let it Rock is a fourteen track covers album of songs that have influenced the guys over the years, songs from the likes of Larry Williams, Big Bopper and Chuck Berry. It also features one original track. Recorded at the Berry Hill studios in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire and Engineered by John David with the cover picture taken by a fan, Angie.
Members are. Ronnie T Walton – Vocals SD. Bluehaze – Bass Ted Bunting – Saxophonist. Adam Burge – Piano Dave Plowman – Lead Guitarist Harrison Weston – Cottrell. Drummer Jake Greenhouse - Drummer (reserve)
The first letter from the band’s names spells THE RADS, they took the E from the reserve.
Track by track review. Slowdown. (Williams) Storming start from the lads with this 1958 classic. They re capture the original sound with the backing music. Every instrument can clearly be identified. The sax during the musical break is just stunning. Vocals are on top note and spot on. Brilliant opener and sets the tone for the album.
Eat your heart out Annie (Pingatore – Lytle) Bringing a big band Rockin treat with this cover of the Jodimars hit which was the flipside to Rockin Shakin Daddy in 1956. Superb backing vocals along with some great musical backing. This track sounds as fresh today as it did 50 years ago. Get your feet ready for a bit of bopping on this one.
Say Mama (Meeks/Earl) A classic track that will live forever in the hearts of any Teddy boy, rocker. And the Rads give a brilliant cover of the Gene Vincent hit. Both music and vocals are banging and true to the original. A delightful version that ill keep you on the dancefloor.
Little Queenie. (Berry) Meanwhile I was thinking? What could they follow the last track with, and of course a Chuck Berry rocker. A great intro with the electric guitar and saxophone. Ronnie sings it and really gets stuck into the lyrics and gives it hell with those deep husky vocals. some nice harmonies from the band. Between the guitar and piano they rock this track from start to finish.
A Mess of Blues (Pomus - Shuman) No rock n roll album would be complete without a track from the King. And a track that gets lost in the Rockin' scene ever since the Quo recorded it way back in the 80s. It's a great song as long as you keep the blues feel and the Rockin' feel at the same time, and the boys certainly do that. Great intro with the twiddling of the ivory’s with some deep sax for an instrumental break. Well sung with plenty of emotion going in the vocals. Great version.
A Big Hunk of Love Written by Aaron Schroeder and Sidney Wyche and recorded by Elvis in 1959. High tempo rockin' dynamite from the boys. A little guitar is added to the opening and the rest just flows and rocks your socks off. Again, some great playing from the band simply making it their own. And they do that with a classy bluesy ending, great job boys.
Bonie Moronie (Williams) A second treat from the Larry Williams songbook, and a real treat for us. The boys just haven’t let us rest up for one minute with a relentless bombardment of classic rock n roll. And they don’t disappoint with this track. stunning version that will have dancing in the isles once again. The band coming together with nice backing vocals before a Rockin,. dead beat finish.
It ain't Going To Be Me (David) Classic boogie woogie piano to open a John David original penned track recorded by The Rads. Keeping to the straight to the feet pace. If this is their writing capability, then I really can’t wait for a full album. Brilliant dance floor filler. Loved it with all its rhythm.
Let It Rock (Berry) One of my all-time favourites from Mr Berry and the boys don’t disappoint with this cover. Toe tapping beat with great vocals, just enough to make it their very own track. to be fair it compares well to Chuck's version and certainly keeps the jivers happy. Well done on a great version.
I’m Walkin (Domino – Bartholomew) Another well-known classic from the king of the ivories Mr Fats Domino. First released in February of 1957 and was one dominos cross over tracks. Ted on saxophone stands alongside the great solo of Herbert Hardesty who played on the original.
Chantilly Lace (Richardson) WILL I WHAT? Yes of course he would and Ronnie fits straight into the roll of the song with an amazing modern sound to the track. Once again, the band gave a great backing with some top playing matching the vocals.
Be My Guest (Domino) Definitely an opener for any rock n roll DJ to play and get the dance floor in the mood. Due to the rhythm this track is often classed as a Ska song, but it will always be a firm favourite of the rock n roll scene. And with the Rads version it will live even longer. Great version.
C’mon Everybody (Cochran – Capehart) Turn them speakers up and let your neighbours enjoy this fast paced cover from the boys with this must do track by the legend that is and always will be Mr Eddie Cochran. Deep bass, rolling drums and awesome guitar and a rockin' instrumental break brings this all together to form a classic cover. And of course, some nice vocals
Slipping and Sliding (peniman) The track which formed from so many variations, 1955 I got the blues for you, then adapted in in 56 to become I’m Wise. Even after Little Richard released it, he also had many different versions with the latter one being in 65. Back to The Rads, who continue to give us a great version of their own. They have not stopped rocking me all the way through the album and they end it with the same passion.
Summary: What an album. The only fault I have is that it should have another 14 tracks. Pure pleasure from start to finish. They have taken a bunch of classics and added their own personal touch and sound without taking away the feel of the original. A few of the band members have played with top artists and its shows through on this release. Fantastic album.
Recommendation You won’t be disappointed. This band is going places.